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The Delhi High Court has held that a public interest litigation under Article 226 of the Constitution of India cannot be filed by an administrative officer merely on account of non-acceptance of suggestions by superior officers. (Shovan Patra vs UOI)
The order was passed by a Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan.
The Petitioner, Shovan Patra held the post of Accounts Officer and there appeared to have been a difference of opinion with his superior officers about the implementation of the Employees Provident Fund & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952.
In the writ petition, the Petitioner alleged various violations of the Act and and the Schemes framed thereunder. He stated that the same was resulting in loss to the exchequer and thus, certain remedial measures were required to be undertaken.
While the Petitioner put an endorsement to this effect before high ranking administrative officers of his employer, the superior officers took a different view regarding the implementation of the Act.
The Court opined that there appeared to have been a difference of opinion with the superior officers, following which the Petitioner preferred a PIL to vindicate his position and/ or teach a lesson to the high ranking administrative officers.
Stating that the Petitioner was unable to point to any misfeasance or other mala fide on the part of the superior officers, which resulted in their taking a position contrary to that of the Petitioner, the Court added,
"A petition like the present one is not appropriately the subject matter of a Public Interest Litigation at all.. There is no allegation in the present case of any mala fides, or any supporting material, for us to entertain the present public interest litigation."
The Court ultimately opined that there was no reason to entertain the writ petition.
The Petitioner was represented by Advocate Sudhir Singh Parihar.
Read the Order: