Under the rules pertaining to filing PILs, it is mandatory for a litigant to disclose all the material facts relating to him as well as about his activities relating to the cause he or she is espousing.
However, the non-adherence to these basic norms proved costly for a litigant as the Karnataka high court on Tuesday not only removed him from the position of petitioner, but also slapped on him Rs 25,000 as cost payable to the state government.
The petition will now be treated as suo motu PIL. It challenges the leasing of government land to a trust.
N Hanumegowda , a resident of Bengaluru and petitioner in the PIL, did not disclose the fact that a criminal defamation case was registered against him by B J Puttaswamy and he was convicted in the said proceedings. B J Puttaswamy, former MLC and former political adviser to B S Yediyurappa, is the fifth respondent in the PIL.
During the hearing, the court was informed that the petitioner had not disclosed the said fact.
Though the petitioner’s counsel claimed that the said verdict of the trial court has been stayed in the appeal proceedings, a division bench headed by chief justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka noted that the petitioner should have disclosed those facts as a pro bono litigant and cannot continue as petitioner in the backdrop of non-disclosure.
In his PIL, Hanumegowda had sought action against former MLC B J Puttaswamy. According to him, 10 acres of government gomala land at Nagaruru village in Bengaluru north taluk was leased to Vishwa Ganiga Samudaya Trust headed by B J Puttaswamy for 30 years on an annual rent of Rs 1,000 per acre.
He further claimed that the trust deed was amended in 2013 to get Rs 5 cr grant from the government.He had sought for investigation into the issue and also recovery of money granted by the government.