Title: Geeta Devi vs State Of Rajasthan
Citation: S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 620/2020
Coram: JUSTICE DINESH MEHTA
Decided on: 28/03/2023.
The respondent, Municipal Board, Bilara, has filed the current application seeking the recall of the interim order dated 14.01.2020 issued by the court. The nature of the case or the specific circumstances leading to the interim order .
In this case, the respondent, Municipal Board, Bilara, has filed an application seeking the recall of an interim order dated 14.01.2020. During the argument, the respondent’s counsel highlighted that the petitioner, along with four others, had previously filed a joint writ petition (S.B. Civil Writ Petition No.13679/2019), which was listed on 13.09.2019. The court notes that a Co-ordinate Bench of the High Court had considered the petitioner’s case on that day and issued notices without granting any interim order. The respondent’s counsel argued that on the same day, two other cases challenging the same impugned order were listed, and detailed orders with interim relief were granted. However, in the petitioner’s case, only notices were ordered. The respondent’s counsel further brought to the court’s attention that the petitioner(s) withdrew the earlier writ petition on 10.01.2020 without informing the respondent’s counsel. In response, the petitioner’s counsel argued that there was no concealment, as the petitioner had mentioned the filing and withdrawal of the earlier writ petition in the current application.
To verify the claims, the court examined the records of the earlier writ petitions and found that the petitioner’s case was listed on 13.09.2019, and notices were issued without granting interim relief. The court expressed shock at the petitioner’s actions, noting that after failing to obtain an interim order in the first writ petition, the petitioner withdrew it on the same day she learned about an interim order in another similar case (SBCWP No.15048/2019).
The court criticized the petitioner for not disclosing the withdrawal of the earlier writ petition and filing the current one with the same assertions. It emphasized that withdrawing and filing a fresh writ petition without a material change in circumstances is impermissible in law. The court found that there was no change in facts or pleadings between the two petitions and criticized the petitioner for attempting to mislead the court.
In this judgment, the court expresses strong disapproval of the petitioner’s conduct and her counsel, stating that not only should the interim order be recalled, but the writ petition deserves to be dismissed. The court cites an attempt to mislead the court and invokes the principle of res judicata, arguing that the petitioner, by withdrawing and filing a fresh petition without a material change in circumstances, has acted improperly.
The court emphasizes that the petitioner, by misleading the court, has secured an interim order and continued in services for over three years, causing an illegal burden on the public exchequer. As a consequence, the court imposes a cost of ₹50,000 on the petitioner, payable to the respondent Municipal Board, Bilara. The Board is granted the authority to recover this cost from the petitioner’s deducted or deposited amount in accordance with the law. The recovered amount is directed to be utilized by the Board for the construction or renovation of public toilets for females. Furthermore, the court dismisses the writ petition and the stay petition. While expressing displeasure about the conduct of the learned counsel, the court refrains from taking any action against them, expressing hope that they would exercise caution in the future.
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Written By: Gauri Joshi