Two public interest litigations challenging the Uttar Pradesh Government’s decision to rename Allahabad to Prayagraj met different fate.
While the bench at Allahabad dismissed the plea asking the petitioner to approach the government first, the Lucknow bench posted the case on Monday directing the state to respond.
Sunita Sharma had approached the high court contending that the notification issued by the government renaming the city is ‘against the provisions and spirit of the Constitution of India, since this notification is against the interest of public at large of nation’.
Dismissing the PIL, the bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Chandra Dhari Singh said: “The petitioner is seeking writ in the nature of mandamus. It is well settled that any person, who applies for a writ or order in the nature of mandamus should in compliance with the well known rule of practice, ordinarily, first call upon the authority concerned to discharge his legal obligations and show that it has refused or neglected to carry it out within a reasonable time before applying to a Court for such an order, even where the alleged obligation is established. In the case in hand, the well settled condition precedent, as recorded above, has not been adhered. The petitioner has not made any demand to the Government for redressal of her grievance before asking a writ in the nature of mandamus.”
On the other hand, Hari Shankar Pandey, a retired PCS officer, approached the Lucknow bench contending that the government issued the notification without following due procedures as mentioned in Section 6(2) of the UP Revenue Code, 2006. He also contended that renaming was done to gain political mileage and public interest was ignored in the process. He sought for a direction from the high court to restore the name to Allahabad, contending that renaming would cause a huge burden on the state exchequer.
The bench of Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Rajesh Singh Chauhan has posted the case on Monday (19th November) directing the government to obtain instructions or file counter affidavit within a week.