R'than quizzed over sewa kendras' renaming

R'than quizzed over sewa kendras' renaming

The Rajasthan High Court has questioned the state government over renaming of the Bharat Nirman Rajiv Gandhi Sewa Kendras to Atal Sewa Kendras, in the name of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The single bench of Justice M N Bhandari issued a notice on a petition by former Congress MLA Sayam Lodha, who termed the decision of the state government illegal and arbitrary.

The petition stated that both Rajiv and Vajpayee are former prime ministers and Bharat Ratna awardees and hence, there should be no disrespect to either of these personalities. The government decision has shown former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in poor light, it added. Puneet Singhvi, counsel for the petitioner, stated that the administrative order which renamed the Rajiv Gandhi Sewa Kendra to Atal Sewa Kendra is illegal. He said a legislative notification issued by the Centre could not be superseded by an administrative order of the state government.

To put forth a strong argument, Singhvi said the Central government, through an amendment to the National Rural Employment Act, 2005, made a provision for the construction of the Bharat Nirman Rajiv Gandhi Sewa Kendra as a village knowledge resource centre and Gram Panchayat Bhawan at the gram-panchayat level, and was promptly notified through an extraordinary gazette in 2009.

The petition also pointed out that Rajasthan is the only state to have renamed the kendras.
 

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