By LE Desk

Cuttack, March 31: The Orissa High Court on Tuesday censured filing of public interest litigations (PILs) by petitioners soon after making a representation to authorities concerned without waiting for a response. A large number of PILs were being filed in this manner, the Court said while considering a petition seeking intervention against construction of a building over forest land at Pallahara in Angul district. 

The Orissa High Court Public Interest Litigation Rules, 2010 makes it mandatory for persons to submit to authorities concerned before filing a PIL. After submitting a representation to the authorities on February 5 which is pending consideration, Madan Mohan Sahu had filed the petition four days later on February 9.

The division bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice BP Routray said, “It is not conceivable that the opposite parties would be able to examine the representation and take a decision thereon within such a short period,” The New Indian Express reported

Rule 8 of the law states that only in very urgent cases where the making of a representation and waiting for a response would cause irreparable injury or damage, a petition can be filed straightway by giving prior notice. 

“This is not one such case, since clearly the petitioner has given a prior notice to the opposite parties. The petitioner should at least give two months time to the opposite parties to take a decision thereon,” the bench said. “Further, if he is serious about the matter, then he should send at least one reminder within the said two months,” the bench said. 

While disposing of the petition, the Court left it open to the petitioner “to first comply with the above requirements, and if the cause of action still survives, then file a fresh petition in accordance with law.”

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