Mumbai: Terming it a “publicity interest litigation”, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday dismissed with costs a PIL seeking a court-monitored investigation into the death of former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry, in which Dr Anahita Pandole is an accused.
The PIL sought that Dr Pandole, who was behind the wheels and has been booked for alleged negligence that resulted in the car crash in Palghar last year, be charged with the offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder under section 304 II of the Indian Penal Code.
A bench of acting Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice Sandeep Marne dismissed the PIL observing, “We do not see any public interest involved in the PIL. We find the present PIL to be without substance or merits or without cause. We dismiss the same with costs.”
The bench questioned the petitioner, Sandesh Jedhe, why he was not approaching the concerned magistrate and what documents he had relied to make the allegations against Dr Pandole. His advocate Sadiq Ali replied that the plea was based on information published in media reports and some confidential information.
However, the court refused to accept the argument saying, “This seems to be a publicity interest litigation. Not public interest litigation (PIL). You do not have personal knowledge of anything.”
On Sept 4, 2022, Mistry and Jahangir Pandole as well as Anahita and her husband Darius Pandole were travelling in a car along the Charoti Bridge over Surya river towards Mumbai from Ahmedabad. While Mistry and Jahangir – who were seated in the rear seats – died in the accident, Darius and Anahita, seated in front, suffered severe injuries.
The PIL also alleged that the FIR was filed on Nov 5, 2022, nearly after two months of the accident and the charges against her, including rash driving, causing death by negligence, are insufficient.
“It appears that petitioner, without a substantive knowledge of the facts, has presented this PIL. The plea stated that blood samples of Anahita Pandole were not collected. Upon being confronted, he said the statement may not be in tune with actual facts on record. When a petition is filed, pleadings are on oath, they cannot be casual and wanton pleadings. Even the statements about drunk driving of the accused are not supported by any evidence on record,” observed the bench in its order.
This seems to be a publicity interest litigation. Not public interest litigation (PIL). You do not have personal knowledge of anything.