2015 ALL MR (Cri) 2394
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY (AURANGABAD BENCH)
S. C. DHARMADHIKARI AND RAVINDRA V. GHUGE, JJ.
Purushottam Prabhakar Kawane & Ors. Vs. The State of Maharashtra & Ors.
Criminal Public Interest Litigation No.4 of 2013,Cr. Appln. 1142 of 2013
27th January, 2014.
Petitioner Counsel: Shri AMOL N. KAKADE
Respondent Counsel: Shri K.G. PATIL A.P.P., Shri M.M.NERLIKAR, Shri N.B.NARWADE
Constitution of India, Art.226 - Public Interest Litigation - Maintainability - Matter relates to exploitation of borrowers in money lending transaction - Held, regular mechanism available in other laws to take care of such exploitation - PIL not maintainable. (Paras 1, 2)
JUDGMENT :- We do not think how a purely private transaction of alleged money lending between the petitioners and respondent No.5 can be made subject matter of a Criminal Public Interest Litigation. We cannot assume, on the basis of some averments in the petition that the petition is filed in the public interest and to bring to the notice of this Court glaring instances of large scale illegal money lending. In such transactions, there is no presumption. In every money lending transaction we cannot start with an assumption that it is an illegal act and not covered by or protected by any law. Similarly, we have to proceed on the footing that there is a regular mechanism in other laws to take care of exploitation of borrowers by the money lenders and in these circumstances and when the petitioners of their own showing having filed a private complaint in the competent Criminal Court being Criminal Case No.222 of 2009, the learned Judicial Magistrate (F.C.) being seized of the matter, we do not see how a public interest litigation can be entertained at the instance of the present petitioners.
2. If the learned Judicial Magistrate (F.C.) has not passed any further orders in the case or that the Criminal Case has been closed without hearing the petitioners or following the requisite provisions of law, then nothing prevents the petitioners from invoking the revisional and supervisory jurisdiction, either of the Sessions Court or further of this Court and agitate their grievance. Surely, a Division Bench of this Court, on the single and solitary instance, could not have proceeded by treating this petition as public interest litigation. When pending cases in the Judicial Magistrate's Court have been enlisted at page No.40 of paper book and the instances of private complaints and cases therein are shown to the Court, we cannot, due to the pendency of some complaints and civil cases, pass a general order as prayed in the present petition.
3. For all these reasons, the public interest litigation is not a remedy of the party like the petitioners. In the facts peculiar to this case, the petition cannot be entertained as a public interest litigation by this Court. It is disposed of with all liberties, as are available to the petitioners, in law.