The Madras High Court slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 on a petitioner for wasting “precious judicial time” on a service dispute between Tamil Nadu government and nursing staff.
The first bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice MM Sundresh, dismissed the PIL filed by M Shankar, an agriculturalist from Chennai, which criticised the transfer of nurses by the Health and Family Welfare department as per a government order dated November 20, 2007.
The bench said “we have no doubt that the issue pertaining to the implementation of the G.O is nothing but service dispute between the government authorities and the agitating nurses.”
“The petitioner knows nothing about the subject and has only reproduced the newspaper report relating to the agitation,” the court observed.
The court also said “the petitioner, a passer-by, saw the agitation causing the road block by nurses and found they were disappointed from the transfer counselling conducted by the Director of Medical Education on February 3,2016, as the guidelines have been violated.”
Stating that such a PIL was not maintainable and was only regarding a service dispute, the bench said “we cannot let the matter end at this as we find several public interest matters coming up daily, which are nothing but publicity endeavours or motivated.”
“The courts’ precious time is wasted on these kind of public interest litigations,” it said adding “there has to be a value for judicial time and such wastage of court time must invite appropriate costs.”
“We thus dismiss the petition with costs of Rs 10,000 to be deposited by the petitioner with the Tamil Nadu Mediation and Conciliation Centre within a period of 15 days from today,” it said.