HC imposes ₹6 lakh cost on scribe for abusing process of court, law

It found he was illegally occupying house built by Govt. for oppressed class for 21 years

The High Court of Karnataka has imposed a cost of ₹6 lakh on a journalist for abusing process of the court and misusing law as an instrument of fraud and harassment to seek allotment of a government-built house that he was in illegal occupation from the past 21 years.

“No allotment can be claimed by a person who gains entry to the public property by hooliganism and continue in its occupation, on the mere ground that he belongs to oppressed class of society… This cannot be permitted to continue,” the court observed.

Justice Krishna S. Dixit passed the order while dismissing the petition filed by 42-year-old G.M. Mahadeva, a resident of Mysuru, who claimed himself as the editor and publisher of ‘Rashtrakraanthi’ newspaper, and state president of the Association of Small and Medium Newspapers of India.

‘Militant lie’

On his claim that he had, in the year 2000, occupied the house, built by the Urban Development Department in Mysuru, based on “the verbal assurance given by the then engineers,” the court said it “is a militant lie to say the least” as he, despite opportunity given by the court, had not provided names or any particulars of engineers who “verbally” allowed him to reside in the house.

Noticing that the petitioner had claimed that he belongs to a Scheduled Caste, the court said he had not produced any materials to substantiate claim on his caste but had harassed high-ranking officials by unjustifiably dragging them to the State and the national commissions for SCs, and the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission.

“Assuming that he belongs to that community, no right would accrue in his favour for gaining entry to the house that admittedly belongs to the government and meant for being allotted to the genuine and eligible members of the oppressed communities,” the court said.

As the petitioner had contested elections, the court observed that “he is not naïve to the public life and public morality, to justify his seeking protection at the hands of SC/ST commission or this court. In fact, such persons spoil the social image of oppressed classes, and happening of such things should be oppressed by the iron hand of the court”.

“Constitutional jurisdiction of this court cannot be permitted to be invoked by the unscrupulous persons like the petitioner. If persons of this kind are granted relief at the hands of this court, the makers of the Constitution would shiver in their graves…,” the court observed while directing the authorities to evict and prosecute the petitioner and other illegal occupants of the houses built for genuine beneficiaries in Mysuru.

The petitioner has to pay an additional cost of ₹1,000 per day if he fails to pay ₹6 lakh to the Government within six weeks, the court said.

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