SC junks PIL of ex-Naval Chief

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Monday said Public Interest Litigation (PIL) is for a section of society which can't afford to knock the doors of courts, as it junked a PIL questioning the tweaking of age-limit for the appointment of vigilance commissioner.

"PIL is for those who can't afford to come to court. It is a case of vigilance commissioner", said the bench of Justice Rajan Gogoi, Justice Navin Sinha and Justice K.M. Joseph. It declined a plea of former Naval Chief Admiral Ramdas and others.

"We are not inclined to entertain this public interest litigation petition filed at the instance of the petitioners," the court said.

Former Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral L.Ramdas had in a PIL approached the top court seeking its intervention in the tweaking of the age-limit in the appointment of Vigilance Commissioner.

Lawyer Prashant Bhushan asserted that "PIL is not just for the people who can't come to the court... we are concerned with the integrity of the vigilance commission as an institution."

Pointing out that one who has been deprived could have come to us on the violation of Article 14 (equality before law). You can't take plea on behalf of them. People have not come to us", the court said, as Bhushan pointed out that those who were affected were afraid of facing victimization.

The court was not impressed by Bhushan's argument that those who are left out were afraid to openly voice their grievance.

"(This) PIL is not for the people who can't afford", the bench said.

"This is not your case that advertisement per say is against the statute," Justice Gogoi said as Bhushan pointed out the advertisement inviting application for the appointment of the vigilance commission itself is against the Central Vigilance Commission Act.