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The draught stipulation could not be accepted for the challenge since it is too early for the Public Interest Litigation to dispute it: Kerala High Court

The draught stipulation could not be accepted for the challenge since it is too early for the Public Interest Litigation to dispute it is upheld by the Kerala High Court in the case of Sajesh N. T.  v. State of Kerala, WP(C) NO. 11321 of 2021 through Justice T.R. Ravi.

FACTS OF THE CASE

The current PIL was filed in order to contest a few regulatory actions taken by the State of Kerala in relation to the Lakshadweep Islands. According to the petitioner’s argument, the regulations at issue were created with the secret goal of eradicating the islanders’ traditional way of life, culture, etc. According to the petitioner, the actions taken by the State through the contested rules were unlawful and in violation of Articles 15, 16, and 21 of the Constitution.

Notably, the petitioner made broad assertions that he was engaged in issues facing the general public and that he was a social worker, despite never having any direct involvement or concern with the people, affairs, or government of Lakshadweep Island.

JUDGMENT

The Court observed that the contested notices were either in the preliminary stages or were retained in the public eye as draughts, soliciting Islanders’ suggestions, views, etc. Exts. P3 through P7 were mentioned in the writ petition. Ext.P3 was a Circular published by the Assistant Director (Disaster Management) outlining the procedures that anyone planning to visit the island of Lakshadweep must follow.

The petitioner’s concern on Ext.P3 was deemed unfounded and unavailable because the challenge to that circular had already been dismissed by an earlier order. Ext.P4 was a notification asking the public for feedback on a draught regulation that was attached to the said notification. The petitioner had criticised the notification, arguing that if the Draft Rules were implemented, no one would be able to challenge them later because they gave the State enormous power. The Bench said that it is entirely premature to evaluate the legality of a draught regulation that the respondent is currently considering.

The Court stated that with regard to Exts.P5 and P6, which dealt with the termination of temporary workers hired by the administration at a few facilities, te petitioner lacked the authority to contest the legality of Exts.P5 and P6, hence advancing a cause involving service problems through a PIL is improper and unavailable.

The Court concluded that the petitioner in the name of the PIL could not widen the consideration with hazy knowledge about the island’s population or the island after observing that Ext.P7 specified the method to be followed for auctioning cattle in the Lakshadweep islands. It was explained that Ext.P8 was also a draught and could not be regarded as a rule that had taken effect after getting the President’s assent. Every request the petitioner made was therefore unanswerable or premature, and considering the requests through a PIL was not necessary because the contested exhibits were still in the confabulation stage.

In addition, the court held that even while the petition was for mandamus or certiorari, it yet had the effect of a writ of prohibition against the State from performing the function or duty entrusted to them by the Constitution. Therefore, the draught requirement could not be accepted for the PIL’s challenge. In light of this, it was determined that the petitioner lacked the necessary legal standing to consider the PIL and that it was premature. As a result, the same was rejected.

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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY NISHTHA GARHWAL

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