The Calcutta High Court opined the above in the case of Anindya Sundar Das vs State Of West Bengal And Ors, WPA (P) 588 of 2022 which was presided over by the Honourable Justice Prakash Srivastava on 23rd December 2022.
FACTS OF THE CASE
In this public interest case, the petitioner is contesting the notifications dated July 12 and September 29, 2022, which impose fees on transporters and exporters sending their goods to Bangladesh from several international border checkpoints along the Indo-Bangladesh Border.
The petitioner claims that the imposition of the fee places unreasonably strict restrictions on the ability of trucks carrying goods to reach the international border checkpoints and that the State has imposed an outrageously high fee without providing any appropriate services in exchange for the fee. It has also been said that small-scale exporters won’t be able to afford such an outrageous cost if they are required to, which will hinder them from operating their businesses and cause financial losses to them.
The notices allegedly violate Articles 14 and 19(1)(g) of the Constitution as well as Article 265 of the Constitution, and it has also been claimed that Respondent No. 1 neglected the difficulties that all exporters, transporters, traders, and manufacturers experience. Additionally, it is claimed that the State’s actions are against trade policy and that the contested notices are unfairly burdening certain segments of the business community, such as exporters, without providing any comparable service in return for the fees levied.
JUDGEMENT OF COURT
The Indian Constitution Article 21’s definition of life and liberty was broadened by the court. It guarded Article 23 of the Constitution with vigilance. Human rights were considered when interpreting the law. In light of international treaties, protocols, and conventions, laws were construed. Even in situations when the State was not otherwise clearly culpable, justice was served while taking the concept of human rights into consideration.
Nevertheless, as time went on, things began to change. The procedure was occasionally abused. In the banner of public interest litigation, proceedings were started to air out personal disagreements. Some petitions had a public relations focus. Thus, it was necessary to strike a balance. The courts began using more caution and care when exercising their jurisdiction over cases involving the public interest.
Learned counsel for the petitioner has also cited the ruling of the Hon. Supreme Court in the case of State of Uttaranchal vs. Balwant Singh Chaufal & Others, which was reported in (2010) 3 SCC 402. However, in that judgement, which was also found in 10 WPA (P) 588 of 2022, it was determined that the Court should prima facie verify the petitioner’s credentials before entertaining a PIL and that the Court should be fully satisfied that there is a The aforementioned test is not met in this instance.
As a result, the learned Advocate General’s preliminary objection is upheld, and the current public interest litigation is declared to be unmaintainable and is subsequently dismissed. It is made clear, however, that if any affected party approaches the competent Court, the case will be decided on its own merits without reference to any observations made in this order. Therefore, the petition is denied.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY SAYANTANI RAKSHIT