The High Court of Karnataka on Thursday imposed costs of Rs. 5 lakh on H.B. Diwakar, a member of the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) in Tiptur town of Tumakuru district for filling a PIL petition questioning construction of the APMC’s new administrative block, by suppressing the fact that he was one the members present at a meeting when a resolution was passed approving the construction works in April 2016.

Also, the court in future will not entertain any petition, if filed in the form of PIL by Mr. Diwakar in the court. However, this restriction will not affect his right to file petitions of personal nature. A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice R. Devdas also imposed costs of Rs. 1 lakh each on the remaining 10 petitioners, who are either traders or farmers associated with the Tipatur APMC, for filling the petition by concealing facts.

The fact about participation of Mr. Diwakar in the meeting came to the notice of the court when counsel for the APMC referred his name in the copy of the resolution.

The Bench directed that the total costs of Rs. 15 lakh should be utilised by the APMC for construction of new facilities, including setting up of a cold storage, while giving powers to the Deputy Commissioner of Tumakuru district to recover the costs as per the law if the petitioners failed to pay the amount on their own.

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