HC quashes Raje govt order renaming Rajiv Gandhi Kendra as Atal Seva Kendra
HC sets aside a Rajasthan government order renaming the Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra as Atal Seva Kendrajaipur Updated: Jan 19, 2018 22:20 IST
The Rajasthan high court on Friday set aside a Rajasthan government order renaming the Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra as Atal Seva Kendra.
A single bench of justice MN Bhandari passed the order in a petition filed by Congress leader Sanyam Lodha. The court directed the state panchayati raj and rural development department to pass orders to ensure that such a situation did not arise again.
The court also suggested that institutions be named after freedom fighters to avoid controversies in future.
The Congress welcomed the decision, saying it was a slap on the face of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Terming the court order as historic, state Congress chief Sachin Pilot said the court had held up the mirror to the BJP’s narrow-mindedness.
Renaming of the Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendras showed the political vendetta of the BJP, he said.
“The BJP government was only renaming schemes started by the previous UPA government and trying to win appreciation of the people.”
Lodha, who had filed a petition in the high court, pleading that the order was unconstitutional and an insult to late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandh, said the order was not only unconstitutional but also showed the petty politics the BJP indulged in.
“There are so many schemes the state government has started named after Deendayal Upadhyay. Any of those could have been named after Atal ji.”
The BJP government had passed an order on December 28, 2014 renaming the Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendras as Atal Seva Kendra.
Lodha’s counsel Puneet Singhvi contended in court that the order passed by the state government was against the basic tenets of law.
Singhvi said the Centre had passed an order saying that the name of the Rajiv Gandhi Seva Kendra would not be changed.
“The Rajasthan government, however, had taken a decision to change the name of the centres as the chief minister wanted to honour former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on the occasion of his birthday.”
The decision had been taken through an administrative order passed in December 2014, Singhvi said.
The petition had initially been filed before a single bench of justice Bela M Trivedi, who had taken the petition to be a public interest litigation and sent it to a division bench. The division bench, however, had returned the petition to a single bench.
The court had heard the case in December and reserved the judgement, which was pronounced on Friday.
Advocate general NM Lodha appeared for the state government in the case.