The Bombay High Court on Friday imposed a fine of Rs two lakh on 13 persons for filing a public interest litigation challenging construction of a vehicular bridge connecting Versova to Andheri in western Mumbai.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni was hearing a public interest litigation filed by 13 Versova residents challenging the construction of the bridge connecting Yari Road and Lokhandwala backroad.
The petitioners, who claim to be activists working for the environment, in their plea said construction of the bridge would result in damage to mangroves.
The BMC opposed the plea and said the project was a public one and all necessary permissions were taken, including from Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA) with regard to limited destruction of mangroves.
The bench noted the petitioners appear to be aggrieved as the project is being undertaken in the vicinity of their premises.
"The petitioners appear to be those persons who have some private interest of whatsoever nature to prevent such public works," the court said.
"It cannot be said the petitioners are espousing genuine public interest and/or have absolutely no private interest. This public interest litigation is, hence, an abuse of the process of law," the court said.
The bench dismissed the petition and imposed cost of Rs two lakh on the petitioners.
"The cost shall be deposited with Maharashtra State Legal Service Authority within four weeks," the court said.