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Gyan Singh v. State Of U.P. And Others - PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION (PIL) No. 22710 of 2006  RD-AH 7085 (18 April 2007)
Civil Misc. Writ Petition No.22710 of 2006 (PIL)
Gyan Singh v. State of U.P. & others.
Hon'ble S. Rafat Alam, J.
Hon'ble Rakesh Sharma, J.
Heard Shri Gyan Singh, the petitioner, who has appeared in person, and Shri S.M.A. Kazmi, learned Advocate General, who has put in appearance on behalf of respondents and also perused the counter and rejoinder affidavits.
The petitioner has filed this writ petition as Public Interest Litigation spelling out his scheme for providing potable water in the urban area of U.P. especially in the city of Agra. He has raised grievance that huge amount of Rs.3,56 crores is being spent by the government in bringing the water from Ganga river to the city of Agra by laying pipe lines although the same can be achieved spending smaller amount of Rs.3 crores by boring deep wells and tube well in the city of Agra as the drinking water can be drawn from the ground water level by installing water pumps and other equipments. However, in various paras of the writ petition the petitioner has expressed his anxiety regarding decrease of ground water level in the urban areas, environmental decay and ecological imbalance. He has suggested various methods, which can be adopted by the concerned authorities of the State Government to provide adequate drinking water in the city of Agra. He is against taking out water from the rivers, filtering it and then supplying it to the citizen of the cities including Agra through various Jal Sansthans and other local bodies. He submitted that the river water should be used for irrigation purpose only. Various innovative ideas have been indicated in the writ petition. He has further submitted that if given chance he can manage to supply drinking water in the above cities for Rs. Three Crores only. Thus, he has volunteered to take up this novel scheme.
Learned Advocate General has opposed the writ petition. At the outset he has submitted that the petitioner's bona fide is not clear. It is not Public Interest Litigation rather a Private Interest Litigation. He drew our attention to the first relief sought by the petitioner in which he has sought that the entire job of providing drinking water in the city of Agra may be entrusted to him, which he will manage with a meager amount compared to the higher cost of Government Scheme. He can give uninterrupted water supply to the citizens of Agra in much lesser amount. He further submitted that the State Government has formulated the "Water Supply Project" after detailed consultations, taking assistance of especialised agencies like Japan Bank for International Co-operation, Agra Jal Sansthan, Uttar Pradesh Jal Nigam, Urban Development Department, The Government of Uttar Pradesh, Ministry of Urban Development with the co-operation of Government of India have taken policy decision to bring unpolluted water of River Ganga from the Upper Ganga canal to the cities of Agra, Mathura and Vrindawan to enable the concerned local bodies Jal Sansthan etc. to supply potable water to the citizens of the region. He has submitted that it is a policy matter, which has been formulated in larger interest of the citizen of the Agra, Mathura and Vrindawan area. Being policy matter the same cannot be assailed by filing a Public Interest Litigation. This court while considering the writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India cannot embark upon and judicially scrutinize the policy decision taken by the State or the Central Government. The petitioner has failed to show that there was violation of any constitutional provision or the policy is otherwise arbitrary or absurd. He has placed reliance upon various decisions of the Hon'ble Apex Court reported in Krishnan Kakkanth v. Government of Kerala & others, AIR 1997 SC 128, Narmada Bachao Andolan v. Union of India and others, (2000) 10 SCC 664, Balco Employees' Union (Regd.) v. Union of India and others, (2002) 2 SCC 333 and Ashok Kumar Pandey v. State of W.B., (2004) 3 SCC 349. He has also taken the Court through various paras of the counter affidavit in support of his submission.
We have heard the petitioner and the learned Advocate General at length and perused the material on record. Before proceeding further it is relevant to quote the relief clause of the writ petition, which as under: -
1. ;g fd 'kgjksa dh is;ty O;oLFkk ds fy, lgh rjhds ls uydwiksa ds ek/;e ls m0 iz0 jkT; ljdkj dks is;ty miyC/k djk;s tkus ds fy, funsZf'kr djus dh d`ik djsa mnkgj.kkFkZ ;g dk;Z vkxjk ls 'kq: djk;k tk; D;ksafd m0 iz0 ljdkj vkxjk 'kgj dh is;ty O;oLFkk dks 356 djksM+ #i;k xaxk ty ykus ds fy, ikbi ykbu fcNkus esa cjckn djus tk jgh gS tcfd ;g dk;Z o eqf'dy rhu djksM+ ls Hkh de dh ykxr esa uydwiksa }kjk izkFkhZ ds ek/;e ls vFkok fdlh vU; vuqHkoh O;fDr ls djk;k tk ldrk gSA
2. ;g fd izkd`frd lUrqyu dks fcxM+us ls cpk;s tkus ds fy, unh dk ikuh fQYVj }kjk lkQ djds is;ty miyC/k djk;s tkus ds fu;e dks lekIr djk;s tkus dh d`ik djsaA
3. ;g fd vc rd foyEc djus okys nksf"k;ksa ds fo#) dkuwuh dk;Zokgh djus dh d`ik djsaA vkidh vfr d`ik gksxhA"
From a bare reading of the reliefs sought by the petitioner it is evident that he has, in fact, challenged the policy decision of the State Government, the purpose of which is to supply drinking water to the citizens of the cities Agra, Mathura and Vrindawan region by bringing the Ganga water from the Upper Ganga Canal to Agra through a pipe line. The government has already drawn a detailed scheme project in this regard in consultation with aforementioned especialised agencies for implementing the objects and purpose of the scheme. The Project is in larger public interest i.e. to supply potable water to the citizens and it can, in no way, adversely affect the legal or fundamental right of the petitioner one of the citizens of Agra. He cannot be said to be representing all the citizens of the Region. We have also learnt that Civil Misc. Writ Petition No.5479 of 2004 was filed by the petitioner. This petition was finally disposed of on 11.2.2004 by following order. This Court has already dealt with this matter and set at rest the issues controversy raised in the present writ petition.
"Hon. Tarun Chatterjee, C.J.
Hon. Dilip Gupta, J.
By consent of the parties, this petition is treated as on day's list and taken up for hearing.
After the arguments had been advanced for some time by the learned counsel for the petitioner, a prayer is made that the petitioner shall file a detailed representation before the State Government within regard to the grievance raised by him in the instant petition.
The petition is, therefore, disposed of with the direction that in case the petitioner files a representation before the State Government through the concerned Secretary within a period of three weeks from today, the same shall be considered and decided in accordance with law by a reasoned order expeditiously. No order as to costs.
In furtherance of this judgment, order of this Court is a well-reasoned and well-considered order was passed by the State Government on 2.11.2004 disposing of the representation submitted by the petitioner. In this order the State Government has dealt with all the points raised by the petitioner and suggestions made by him to the government. The State Government did not find force in the representation and, therefore, dismissed the same. State Government has recorded detailed finding and indicating reasons for not accepting the suggestions of the petitioner. It is apparent from the record that on the representation submitted by the petitioner to the State Government on 12.3.2004 an administrative decision has already been taken by it, taking into account various submissions and suggestions made by him in his representation and earlier writ petition. Now the petitioner again approached this Court for judicial scrutiny of the said executive decision taken by the Government assailing the policy of the State Government. Since the government has already set at rest the controversy raised by the petitioner in the earlier writ petition by disposing of the representation submitted by the petitioner in furtherance of the above mentioned judgment and order of this Court passed on 2.11.2004, no second writ petition can be filed raising the same issue. Various pronouncements of the Hon'ble Apex Court cited by the learned Advocate General fully covers the issue raised by the petitioner. In view of law laid down by the Hon'ble Apex Court, this petition cannot be entertained as Public Interest Litigation. This Court can entertain a writ petition, challenging a policy decision of the Government; but the judicial review of such decision can be made on limited grounds only, as has been observed by the Hon'ble Apex Court of India in the cases of Kailash Chand Sharma v. State of Rajasthan and others, (2002) 6 SCC 562 and Union of India and another v. International Trading Co. and another, (2003) 5 SCC 437. This opinion finds support from the Hon'ble Apex Court's decision in Kailash Chand Sharma (supra) and Union of India and another (supra) and Indian Railway Construction Co. Ltd. v. Ajai Kumar, (2003) 4 SCC 579.
In respect of policy matters, the Court would be reluctant to interfere as per the law laid down by the Hon'ble Apex Court in Narmada Bachao Andolan v. Union of India and others, (2000) 10 SCC 664 paragraphs 229 - 235, Ugar Sugar Works Ltd. v. Delhi Admn., (2001) 3 SCC 635 @ 643 paragraphs 18 - 20 and Balco Employees' Union (Regd.) v. Union of India and others, (2002) 2 SCC 333 paragraphs 34 - 47. In State of Punjab and others v. Ram Lukhaya Bagga and others, (1998) 4 SCC 117 (Three Judges Bench) it has been held that it is normally within the domain of any Court to weigh the pros and cons of the policy or to scrutinize it and test the degree of its beneficial or equitable disposition. The present petition does not stand on this test.
Moreover, it appears to be a Personal Interest Litigation as in the main relief the petitioner has himself claimed that he can supply drinking water to the citizens for a meager amount of Rs. Three Crores, which the State Government's project shall cost Rs.350 crores. His bona fide for filing the writ petition is not clear. The petition has been filed with an ulterior motive for deriving personal gains.
The writ petition has no merits. It is accordingly dismissed.
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