Bombay HC Questions Maintainability of PIL Seeking Change in Metro Station Name

Aastha Thakur

Published on: 05 December 2022 at 23:07 IST

The Bombay High Court recently dealt with the question of the maintainability of a public interest litigation (PIL) petition which sought directions for changing the name of a metro station of the Mumbai Metro Rail Project from ‘Pathanwadi’ to ‘Dindoshi’.

The division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Abhay Ahuja was hearing the matter.

The PIL filed by Naee Roshni Social Organisation submits that name of the metro station is against the policy framed by Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) itself, governing the naming of metro stations.

A court was however, were trying to understand whether the PIL is maintainable for naming or renaming of a railway station or not.

“Is a committee report (of the MMRDA) enforceable in court of law? You have to show a right and that such right has been infringed. How is the present plea a PIL… for naming a railway station? What public interest is going to be served? These (policies) are guidelines for administrative purposes, cannot be enforced,” the Bench remarked.

The petitioner counsel requested to give her additional time to answer the queries of the Bench.

Moreover, the counsel claims that the name has been changed under undue political pressure and pursuant to requests of two MLAs, Atul Bhatkhalkar and Sunil Prabhu, the name of ‘Pathanwadi’ station was changed to ‘Dindoshi’

The matter was filed against renaming of ‘Pathanwadi’ Metro Station to ‘Dindoshi’, alleged to be in sheer violation of the policy framed by MMRDA.

According to MMRDA’s policy, when there are more than two stations in a revenue village, the nearest Wadi’s name should be considered for one of the stations.

However, in the present case, MMRDA had originally named the station on line 7 as ‘Pathanwadi’.

The counsel argued that MMRDA itself acknowledged that “Dindoshi” is the name of a nearby revenue village and not the closest Wadi, according to information obtained under the RTI Act.

According to the plea submitted, the station’s renaming was arbitrary, affected the sentiments of the people who lived in “Pathanwadi,” and thus violated Article 14 of the Constitution.

The court listed the matter for hearing on Thursday.

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