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Madhya Pradesh – High Court imposes Rs 10k costs on PIL against renaming Habibganj Railway Station to Rani Kamlapati Railway Station

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Bhopal. Madhya Pradesh High Court recently dismissed a PIL petition moved against a recent decision of the Central government to rename ‘Habibganj’ railway station in Bhopal as ‘Rani Kamlapati’ railway station.

A Division Bench of Justices Sheel Nagu and Sunita Yadav imposed costs of ₹10,000 upon the petitioner, one Ahmad Sayeed Qureshi, noting that the plea was frivolous and vexatious and consumed precious time of the Court.

“The present petition is a frivolous and vexatious piece of litigation which has consumed precious time of this Court, which could have been utilized in hearing & deciding more pressing matters and, therefore, the petitioner deserves to be saddled with cost.”

The petitioner had challenged the Central government order dated November 12, 2021 which changed the name of ‘Habibganj’ railway station to ‘Rani Kamlapati’ railway station.

Advocate Vinay Pratap Singh appearing for the petitioner, submitted that in 1973, one Guru Habeeb Miyan had donated his land to the Railway Department on which the railway station was constructed and thus was rightly named after the donor of the land as ‘Habibganj’ Railway Station.

He further argued that the change in the name of the railway station to ‘Rani Kamlapati’ Railway Station, by the Central government was with mala fide intention to hurt the sentiments of the Muslim community.

The Court at the outset observed how a plea challenging a change in name of a railway station would lead to furtherance of public cause.

“The cause of public is served by the quality and quantity of amenities and facilities available at a railway station so as to facilitate the ease of travelling by train. This act of facilitation has nothing to do with the name of a particular railway station,” the Bench opined.

The Court, therefore, concluded that the petition was a medium to gain cheap publicity and it consumed the valuable time of the Court.

“The present petition stands dismissed with cost of ₹10,000 which shall be paid by the petitioner in the Registry to be utilized for purchasing necessary articles and equipment for dealing with the crisis arising out of the third wave of Covid-19 pandemic,” the Court directed.

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