Friday, October 14, 2011

HC fines UP lawyer for seeking recall of Gujarat Governor

The Gujarat high court on Friday dismissed a PIL filed by a Lucknow-based lawyer for recall of governor Dr Kamla and slapped him with a penalty of Rs 25,000 for frivolous litigation.
The PIL was filed by advocate Asok Pande, who claims to be president of the Hindu Personal Law Board. In 2006, he declared prize of Rs 51 lakh on head of legendary painter M F Hussain for painting a goddesses in nude. He sought removal of Gujarat governor after chief minister Narendra Modi wrote a letter to the prime minister to recall her for appointing Justice R A Mehta as Lokayukta without his consent.
Dismissing the petition filed by advocate Asok, a bench of acting Chief Justice A L Dave and Justice J B Pardiwala found the litigation politically motivated. The bench observed that it could be a “publicity interest litigation” or “political interest litigation”, but it did not seem to be filed in public interest.
Even during the hearing earlier this month, the bench repeatedly questioned Pande about his motive behind filing the PIL in this high court over Gujarat’s affairs, whereas he is a resident of Uttar Pradesh.
Pande had sought recall of the governor on the ground that her appointment itself was void ab initio because the Centre had not taken Modi’s consent before making her the governor. The bench even asked him that it was difficult to make it out whether he was seeking recall of the governor or questioning the way she was appointed.
Pande had made the president, governor and prime minister as respondents in his litigation. However, the court did not find it fit to be entertained and dismissed it with the cost. Pande has been asked to deposit the penalty amount with the Gujarat Legal Aid Service Authority within a month.
After court order, Pande said that he respected the judicial view, but he intended to challenge it before the Supreme Court.

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