The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday imposed costs of ₹7 lakh on a litigant who did not pursue his public interest litigation (PIL) petition for seven years and instead kept asking for adjournments since 2017 [Jadeja Dharmendrasinh Ranjitsinh vs State of Gujarat]..A division bench of Chief Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Aniruddha Mayee noted that the PIL was filed in 2017 against land allotment to a private entity for establishing an industry in 2015. "So for 9 long years, what have you done? Tell us where were you all these years? The land allotment is of 2015. You challenged it after 2 years and came to this court in 2017. And after that you only kept asking for dates. You haven't argued your matter till date from the last 7 odd years," Chief Justice Agarwal told advocate Satyam Chhaya who was appearing for the petitioner. .The bench underscored that a PIL petitioner should not be casual like this but must be responsible and accountable. "You cannot file a PIL and then start dealing with people and if you are successful (in dealing) then you withdraw the petition and if not then you pursue it. This isn't the cause for a public interest. You haven't pursued this matter for last 7 years," the Court observed. It proceeded to dismiss the petition with costs of ₹10 lakh. However, Chhaya urged the court to grant him some time. "Okay so we make the costs amount to ₹7 lakh, which will be a lakh per year (since 2017). You have wasted so much of judicial time," Chief Justice Agarwal told the advocate. Further, the Court also rejected the request of the petitioner to withdraw the plea. "No, we cannot allow withdrawal at this stage. Once you have come to the court, please take an order along," the Chief Justice said (in a lighter vein)..The issue pertained to allotment of a mineral-rich land in favour of a private entity for establishing an industry. The allotment was done in 2015 which the PIL petitioner argued was against the State's own policy. However, the bench noted that since already 9 years have passed, nothing much could be done now. "Can we or anyone now change the character of the land and bring it back to a mineral-rich nature? Can we order to make the land again a mineral-rich one? Nine long years have passed. The issue isn't academic now. Also, we cannot order an enquiry at your behest, who did nothing in the last 9 years," the Court made it clear.