On Tuesday, 72-year-old Narain Singh of Rangpuri in Mehrauli was taken by his nephew to the office of the Block Development Officer for collecting a cheque for Rs.1.25 lakh issued by the Delhi Government as compensation for “filing a frivolous litigation” against allotments made to the poor under the 20-Point Programme.
“We got the cheque as the Delhi Government had unnecessarily dragged us to court instead of implementing the Delhi High Court order which directed it to provide plots to the beneficiaries of a 1986 scheme for landless poor under the 20 Point Programme,’’ said Narain’s nephew Sanjay Jatav.
It was through the Right to Information (RTI) applications that Sanjay had pulled out critical information on how the promised land was transferred to the Forest Department.
“We filed a case in 1993 when the land was not given. But it was only in 2009 that information about its transfer was received and brought to the notice of the High Court,’’ he said, adding that the family must have spent over Rs.5 lakh by now in contesting the case.
The Single Bench of the High Court had ruled that the Delhi Government had not only legal obligation but also social responsibility to honour its commitment of allotting land to the landless residents of village Rangpuri. He had also directed the Delhi Government to locate land which could be allotted to the petitioner and persons similarly situated after determining their eligibility. Dissatisfied with the order, the Delhi Government had filed an appeal before a Division Bench of the High Court to set aside the direction given by the Single Judge. But it was set aside.
While the Delhi Government counsel then made a statement that the order of the Single Judge will be implemented within three months, the Government went in appeal before the Supreme Court. On January 15, a Bench of the Supreme Court noted that : “In our considered view, this petition falls in the category of frivolous cases filed in this Court by the Governments and various administrative authorities, the disposal of which consumes substantial time of the Court.’’ “We are surprised to note that after giving an undertaking before the Division Bench of the High Court on July 13, 2012, the petitioner has invested money in filing a petition on 16.10.2012, which cannot but be described as unwarranted burden on the public exchequer,’’ it added while dismissing the special leave petition of the Delhi Government.
Further, the Apex Court ruled that “for filing a frivolous petition, the petitioner is saddled with cost of Rs.2.5 lakh. The amount of cost shall be paid to the respondents within a period of one month from today’’.