HC rejects recovery of expenses on Modi`s fast

The Guj HC dismissed a plea demanding that state funds spent on Sadbhavna fast of Narendra Modi be recovered from the CM.

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday
dismissed a plea demanding that state funds spent on Sadbhavna
fast of Narendra Modi be recovered from the chief minister or
from BJP, observing it was for people to "correct the defects"
by exercisiing their franshise properly in the next elections
or take to other lawful means like Satyagraha to arouse the
conscience of the government.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Bhaskar
Bhattacharya and Justice JB Pardiwala said the court was not
competent to go into the question whether government can spend
money for a public purpose or whether the decision was wise
or not.

"It is for the people to correct the defects by
exercisisng their franshise properly in the next elections and
voting for candidates who will fulfill their expectations or
by other lawful means like Satyagraha in a peaceful manner to
arouse the conscience of the government but the remedy is
surely not by approaching the judiciary and asking it to
scrutinise the functions of other organs," the bench said.

The PIL filed by Rajesh Mota alleged that Rs 100 crore
were spent on Modi`s fast.

The court held that expenditure on the function fell in
the purview of the executive and there was no need for the
judiciary to interfere. Judicial intervention is permissibly
only when government`s action is unconstitutional, the court

"If such questions are allowed to be raised before court,
all expenditure of the state can be called into question,
both as to the nature and extent thereof, in which event the
functioning of the government itself will be hampered," the
court observed.

"If court begins entertaining such applications, it would
not only disturb the delicate balance of powers between the
three wings of the State, but would also strike at the very
basis of our democratic polity," the judges observed.

The court also made it clear that it was not concerned
with the "political ideology of a particular elected
Government or its method of reaching the public at large to
apprise them of different welfare schemes or projects
undertaken by such government".

"It is not possible or rather permissible for us to
entertain this petition on the argument that public opinion is
greatly agitated and people of state of Gujarat want to know
as to where the truth lies."

The petitioner had said that Modi`s three-day fast, held
between September 17 and September 19, 2011, was neither a
part of any government programme, nor did it serve any public

Dubbing the Sadbhavna mission as a `drama`, Mota had
contended that the fast was aimed at deriving a political
mileage, and hence, the expenses incurred on the event should
be paid by the ruling BJP or the Chief Minister.

Another petition, on the same issue, had been filed by
advocate KG Pandit, but the High Court rejected his petition
for lack of evidence.

Modi undertook the three-day fast in September last year
for promoting peace, unity and harmony in the state. He
followed this up with a series of one-day fasts covering every
district of Gujarat.