SC slaps fine on NGO held guilty for proxy PIL

The Supreme Court held an NGO and its secretary guilty of contempt of court for approaching it and the Gujarat High Court with "unclean hands" and filing proxy PIL.

Last Updated: May 12, 2011, 12:52 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday held
an NGO and its secretary guilty of contempt of court for
approaching it and the Gujarat High Court with "unclean hands"
and filing proxy PIL.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia imposed a
fine of Rs one lakh on the NGO, Kalyaneshwari, and punished
its secretary D K Sharma by directing him to remain present in
the court room till the rising of the bench.

The bench, also comprising justices K S Radhakrishnan
and Swatanter Kumar said that after the bench rose, contemnor
Sharma will have to remain present in the Supreme Court
Registrar`s office till the day`s work is over.

The apex court had initiated suo motu contempt
proceedings against the NGO for abusing the PIL mechanism on
behalf of the steel lobby to seek a ban on asbestos in the
country on the plea that it posed a serious health hazard.

Earlier, the NGO after being issued contempt notice,
had offered to make an unconditional apology for filing the
PIL.

The court, however, refused to allow the NGO to
wriggle out with an apology for fighting a "proxy business
battle" through the PIL.

"You may file your apology in an affidavit. We may not
accept your apology but impose a heavy cost on you," the bench
had said.

The bench had on January 21 dismissed the Kolkata-
based NGO`s plea for a ban on asbestos material and
initiated contempt proceedings against it.

The NGO invited the court`s ire as it came to light
that the organisation`s office bearers had heavy stakes in
steel industry and wanted a ban on asbestos to ensure
promotion of its own material as a substitute.

PTI