Imposes a cost of Rs.20,000 on a councillor for having stalled the project

The Madras High Court Bench here on Monday cleared the legal hurdles in fulfilling a two-decade-old demand for a new central bus stand in Karur and imposed a cost of Rs. 20,000 on a municipality councillor for filing a case against the move and obtaining an interim stay last year.

Justices V. Ramasubramanian and V.M. Velumani said the councillor, R. Eakamparam, had tried to achieve through the court what he could not achieve in the municipal council where a resolution in favour of the bus stand was passed by a majority of 47 out of 48 members present on December 28, 2012.

Pointing out that the petitioner was the lone dissenter in the council meeting held for deciding the location of the proposed bus stand, the Division Bench said that the case filed by him was nothing but a veiled attempt to impose his will upon all other elected members by taking the route of public interest litigation.

“This court cannot be allowed to be used by such persons to annul the resolutions passed at a meeting of the elected council. Public Interest Litigations are not meant for the purpose of annulling the will of the majority especially at the instance of a person who became the lone dissenter,” it said.

Authoring the judgement for the Bench, Mr. Justice Ramasubramanian went on to state: “It is quite unfortunate (or at least interesting to note) that today, even while the legal pundits keep debating on the one hand, the extent to which judicial activism could go, the public on the other hand, keep knocking at the doors of this court even in respect of matters such as the location of a bus stand, location of a railway station and the location of even public toilets.”

“This court cannot function as a supervisory body for all the departments of the Government. There is a limit to which the jurisdiction of this Court under Article 226 of the Constitution for a judicial review of the administrative action can be extended. Once we find that the decision of the respondents is supported by reasons, we cannot examine each and every reason and call upon the respondents to justify the same.”

The judges also dismissed other connected PIL petitions including the one filed jointly by nine other councillors of Karur municipality on the ground that the councillors had not even disclosed, in their affidavit, whether they had participated in the council meeting held in December 2012 or not.

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