News By/Courtesy: Neha Mishra | 05 Nov 2021 19:23pm IST


  • A petition is filed against a junior health inspector
  • He is accused of neglecting duty resulting in the death of a newborn child
  • Court held that cases related to employer employee are not covered under the scope of PIL

In a very important judgment recently, a bench consisting of Chief Justice S. Manikumar and Justice Shaji P. Chaly of the High Court of Kerela held that the writ petitions are not applicable on service matters. The judgment was made in the case of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed to take certain disciplinary measures on a Junior Health Inspector, Mr C Jayachandran.

 A PIL was filed in the High Court of Kerela by the petitioner. He alleged that due to the Junior Health Inspector neglecting his duties, a newborn baby had died. He showed certain documents to further prove his case. When asked from where he got the said documents showcasing the proof of neglecting of duties, he replied that after requesting the Right to Information Act, 2005, the documents had been provided to him by the concerned officer.

The court while referencing many of the cases decided by the Supreme Court, held that a PIL cannot be maintained in the service matters. PIL or Public Interest Litigation, although not defined in any provision or statute, is a power granted to the public by the courts. A case can be filed by any person, but it must be in the interest of the public. But the person filing the petition must prove that the said matter is in the interest of the public at large.

The court gave a reference to the case of Smt. Amitarani Khuntia Versus State of Orissa 1996. In this case, the Tribunal after considering the provisions of the Act held that a private citizen or a stranger having no existing right to any post and not intrinsically concerned with any service matter is not entitled to approach the Tribunal.

In Ashok Kumar Pandey v. the State of W.B., the public interest is defined thus: A matter of public or general interest "does not mean that which is interesting as a gratifying curiosity or a love of information or amusement; but that in which a class of the community has a pecuniary interest or some interest by which their legal rights or liabilities are affected."

In-State of Maharashtra v. Prabhu, the Supreme Court held that Courts must do justice by promotion of good faith, and prevent the law from crafty invasions. 

In Vishal Ashok Thorat and Ors. v. Rajesh Shrirambapu Fate and Ors., the Hon'ble Supreme Court reiterated the settled proposition of law that PIL in service matters is not maintainable."The Supreme Court has, therefore, decided on several occasions that a PIL in service matters is not maintainable.

The Kerela High Court, on the issue of the documents submitted in the court that whether they were authentic, said that they were produced under the Right to Information Act, 2005 and there was no authentic proof of them. Thus, the Kerela High Court, in the view of submissions made and judgments decided by the Honorable Supreme Court, held that the instant writ petition is not maintainable.

Section Editor: Kadam Hans | 07 Nov 2021 16:44pm IST

Tags : #PIL #Kerela #High Court #Service matters #Junior Health Inspector #Death of newborn baby #Supreme Court #Right to Information, 2005 #PIL not maintainable #Public interest

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