HC junks PIL challenging bifurcation of Thane district

HC junks PIL challenging bifurcation of Thane district

The Bombay High Court today disposed of a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging Maharashtra government's decision to split neighbouring Thane district and carve out a new district with headquarters at Palghar.

The HC suggested that the petitioners can make a representation to the government regarding their prayer in the PIL of declaring a separate autonomous district for tribals.

The PIL had demanded to "quash and set aside the said political decision of the government."

A total of 33 persons, including CPI(M) MLA Raja Nathu Ozare (from Jawhar), NCP state unit secretary Rajaram Mukne, ex-MLA and MP from CPI(M) Lahanu Shidwa Kom, Vikramgadh BJP president Sudhakar Patil and Adiwasi Ekta Parishad president Kaluram Dodhade had filed the PIL against the creation of Palghar district which was carved out on August 1 last year.

The PIL alleged that the decision to have new district headquarters at Palghar was a political one and taken by the "insensitive" government under pressure of administration only for the convenience of the administrative staff of the newly-created district and is in violation of the norms which are required to be followed for the same.

"The decision to have proposed headquarters at Palghar was discriminatory and violative of fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14 and 19 of the Constitution for tribal and backward class people of the region.

"Their (government's) decision is arbitrary, malafide, contrary to public opinion and views of all the five panchayat samitis, MLAs and MPs of area," the PIL alleged.

Having the district headquarters at Palghar, more than 150-200 kms away from most of the predominantly tribal areas under it, is the negation of the right to live and right to have a dignified life as guaranteed by Article 21 of the Constitution, the PIL contended.

"The decision is also violative of the directive principles of the state policy and the object of Articles 243 to 243(o) of the Constitution are thereby defeated. The decision to have headquarters at Palghar is violative of constitutional rights of tribal and backward class people and the other poor people of the region," the petition had argued.