Kar HC | Freedom struggle cannot be compared to the lockdown imposed due to COVID – 19 pandemic; Misuse of PIL a serious concern

Karnataka High Court: A Division Bench of Satish Chandra Sharma and M. Nagaprasanna, JJ., dismissed the petition being devoid of merits.

The facts of the case are such that the petitioner is an Advocate and a trade unionist as well as a social activist who filed this present public interest litigation stating that the Karnataka Police is assaulting persons as and when they are going out from houses during the lockdown period.

The petitioner appears in person and requests court a roving enquiry to be done by the Court on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations made in the public interest litigation writ petition.

The Court relied on Tehseen Poonawalla v. Union of India, (2018) 6 SCC 72 wherein it was held “Misuse of Public Interest Litigation is a serious matter of concern for the judicial process. Frivolous are motivated petitions, ostensibly involving the public interest detracts from time and attention which Courts must devote to genuine causes.”

The Court observed that the petitioner has not has been brought on record any instance or documentary proof to demonstrate that persons have been assaulted by the police for violating the lockdown orders.

It was also observed that the petitioner being a party in person, who is also an Advocate is fully aware of the process of filing an FIR and in case, the police is not registering a case, he has a remedy of filing a complaint under Section 200 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

The Court further observed “This Court does not rule out the possibility of one or two cases of such alleged atrocities, but there is a remedy available in law of filing a compliant under the Code of Criminal Procedure. Roving enquiry cannot be done as prayed for by the learned counsel for petitioner.”

 The Court held the petition is a frivolous public interest litigation which deserves to be dismissed with costs of Rs.1,000/-“[S. Balakrishnan v. State of Karnataka, Writ Petition No.8939/2021, decided on 19-05-2021]

Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Counsel for petitioner: In person

Counsel for respondents: Mr. R. Srinivasa Gowda

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