NGO fined for misusing PIL process

Delhi HC

Delhi High Court has snubbed an NGO for misusing the PIL process while seeking action against Delhi Police for its alleged inaction in a rape case. Going a step further, the HC bench comprising Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw also imposed a monetary fine on the NGO after dismissing their petition.

Apparently the NGO, dubbed NGO Center for Human Rights, along with the alleged survivor filed the PIL against the Delhi Police. However, in the HC’s observation, it was clearly a criminal case and could not be categorized into a public interest cause.

“The petitioner, even if society incorporated to fight for protection of civil and fundamental rights of citizens of India, cannot on its own take up cudgels on behalf of any particular citizen, in a personal matter concerning that citizen alone. It is well nigh possible that the writ petitioner is working at someone else’s behest and for ulterior motives,” the bench stated, imposing a fine of INR 5,000 on the NGO.

The court further added “that the complainant was interested in redressal of her grievances but instead of taking appropriate remedy on her behalf, the colour of PIL is given.”

As per the court order, the NGO will require depositing the money with Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA) and failure to abide by the order may draw legal consequences. The court criticized the NGO for making unverified allegations against the Ambedkar Nagal Police Station SHO through the PIL despite being cautioned by the HC.

The petition filed by the NGO had raised questions about “sincerity” of Delhi Police while investigating crimes against women. It further claimed that the SHO wrongfully granted bail to the rape accused.

The PIL, filed through advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, claimed the woman was raped on September 5 by her sister-in-law’s husband who fled after the incident.

In her complaint, the alleged survivor claimed that she was raped by the husband of her sister-in-law on September 5, 2014. After informing the rest of the family about the incident, she was allegedly pressured by her in-laws and husband for not reporting the matter to the police.