PIL against renaming of railway station frivolous and vexatious : Madhya Pradesh High Court

A public interest litigation was initiated by the petitioner against the Central government’s recent renaming of “Habibganj” Railway Station to “Rani Kamlapati” Railway Station in Bhopal was before consideration of the division bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court consisting of Justice Sheel Nagu and Justice Sunita Yadav in the matters between Ahmad Sayeed Qureshi v. Union of India and Others WP No.-776 of 2022 decided on 20.1.2022.

The facts of the case are that the petitioner filed a petition under article 226 alleging that the name of “Habibganj” Railway Station has been wrongly changed to “Rani Kamlapati” Railway Station and prayed for renaming the station to Habibganj  Railway Station.

The petitioner claimed that in 1973 Guru Habeeb Miyan donated his land to the Railway Department where the railway station was built, hence the name of the donor of the land as ‘Habibganj’ Railway Station. The name of the railway station was made by the central government to the ‘Rani Kamlapati’ Railway Station with malicious intent to hurt the feelings of the Muslim community.

There is no mention of any contentions made by the respondent in the judgement text however, a final prayer was made by the counsel on behalf of the petitioner towards the Deputy Advocate General for state appearing on behalf of the respondents requesting that the representations made to them against the further “change of name be directed to be decided.”

The Madhya Pradesh High Court found no public cause in the petition. The present petition is a frivolous and tedious case that consumes this Court’s precious time and can be used to hear and adjudicate more pressing matters, and therefore the petitioner deserves to bear the costs. It serves the quality and quantity of facilities and facilities found at a train station to facilitate travel by train. This act of facilitation has nothing to do with the name of a particular train station, so the Court concluded that the petition was a means to obtain cheap publicity and consumed the Court’s valuable time. The present petition was dismissed at cost of ₹10,000 payable at the Registry by the Petitioner to be used in the purchase of materials and equipment necessary to deal with the crisis arising from the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, payable within 30 days, failing which the Registry shall list this petition as “PUD”.

Judgement reviewed by Bhaswati Goldar


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