In the case of Justice for All vs Laxmi Educational Society and ors a complaint made against the Securitization and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act by a non-governmental organisation (NGO). It was stated that the Act violates children’s fundamental right to education since it is being used against schools and has turned into a tool utilised by private organisations to convert social infrastructure created for educational purposes for commercial reasons.
The Decision of the Court
The public interest litigation (PIL) filed by NGO Justice for All, which claimed that the Act was being abused to seize government land allocated to charitable institutions, was motivated, according to a bench made up of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad. While this Court is aware of the lack of regulations governing locus public interest litigation, it must also make sure that busybodies, intrusive interveners, wayfarers, or intrusive interveners with indirect interests do not waste this court’s valuable judicial time. The High Court rejected the argument, saying that it believed the current public interest litigation was frivolous in character and was motivated by unrelated and tangential concerns.
The Bench specifically objected to the NGO’s use of a single Times of India report as the basis for its claims. The petitioner has used this report to try to portray a picture of how the Banks are misusing the SARFAESI Act’s provisions and how DDA officials are allotting Nazul land in violation of those rules. The petitioner has made an effort to demonstrate that this is a widespread problem rather than a singular incident, but through the materials on hand, he or she has been unable to do so. The story in question described how a bank seized control of a school building in Delhi’s Karkardooma after the former failed to repay a debt.
The Bench made a point of noting at the outset that the respondent-school association had earlier addressed the Court in a separate matter, where relief had been granted up to the point of opening the premises. Additionally, it was decided that the Act provided for the option of using a Debts Recovery Tribunal as an alternative remedy. As a result, this Court is already hearing arguments on the question of how the Bank’s action under the SARFAESI Act may affect the schoolchildren’s right to an education. Therefore, it would be improper for this Court to consider this subject in a PIL when another bench of this Court is already interested in it.
The claims made in the plea about the abuse of land use regulations were rejected by the High Court. These are bare allegations, as the petitioner has not provided any supporting evidence in the form of documents or his averments. The PIL was not considered as a result
The petitioner requested that the SARFAESI Act be waived or protected for charitable institutions and that institutions be scrutinised for such land allotments. Relevantly, it was also requested through the PIL that those in charge of the school in question and the group that runs it be investigated.