Procedural technicalities should take a back seat in PIL: Patna High Court

When an issue of severe public importance is up for review before the court, every technicality in the procedural law is not accessible as a defence. Procedural technicalities should take a back seat in public interest litigation as in public interest litigations, procedural laws do not apply is upheld by the High Court of Patna through the learned bench led by HONOURABLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE and HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE S. KUMAR in the case of Anand Vaibhav Vs. The State of Bihar (Civil Writ Jurisdiction Case No.19179 of 2021)

Brief facts of the case are that the Petitioner has asked for a directive to the respondent University authorities to take action in light of the inquiry report dated 05.01.2018 submitted by the Magadh University enquiry committee against the Private Respondent who has ruined the healthy reaching atmosphere of the College by misusing his post of Head Clerk in the said College, as well as a directive to the respondent University to cancel the Respondents appointment letter dated 10.05.2021 which has been issued by other Respondent, contrary to provision of law by appointing on the post of Head clerk in Ram Lakhan Singh Yadav College Aurangabad. Further, the petitioner has requested that the respondent State authority take legal action against Respondent by filing an F.I.R. for obtaining the post of head clerk in the said college by committing forgery in obtaining his initial appointment letter and he is posted in the said college on the basis of a fake appointment letter, as evidenced by the enquiry committee’s report dated 05.01.2018.

Under instructions, learned counsel for the petitioner states that if a direction is issued to the authority concerned to consider and decide the representation that the petitioner will be filing within four weeks from today for redress of the grievance, the petitioner will be satisfied, whereas learned counsel for the respondents states that if such a representation is filed by the petitioner, the authority concerned will consider and dispose of it expeditio.

According to Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra v. State of U.P.  1989 Supp (1) SCC 504, the Hon’ble Supreme Court in D. N. Jeevaraj Vs. Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka & Ors, (2016) 2 SCC 653, procedural technicalities should take a back seat in public interest litigation. Court further stated that Saraswati Industrial Syndicate Ltd. v. Union of India expressed a salutary principle or well-known rule that should be kept in mind before issuing a writ of mandamus. As stated in “Demand for performance must precede application,” there is no such demand or refusal. As a result, there is no basis for issuing any writ, order, or direction under Article 226 of the Constitution.

Petitioner shall approach the authority concerned within four weeks by filing a representation for redress of the grievance, and the authority concerned shall consider and dispose of it expeditiously by a reasoned and speaking order, preferably within four months from the date of its filing, along with a copy of this order, and while considering such representation, natural justice principles shall be followed and due opportunity of hearing afforded to the parties. The petition is dismissed, and the procedures will be handled in digital mode during the current Pandemic-Covid-19, unless the parties mutually agree to meet in person, i.e. physical mode.

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Judgement reviewed by – Pooja Lakshmi

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