By Atul Patankar
As reported at thehindu.com on Jul 19, 2009
MADURAI: The Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005 has exposed the appalling conditions of a middle school in Tiruchi where 195 students were suffering from lack of basic facilities such as electricity, ventilation, toilets and structurally stable buildings.
Disposing of a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed on the strength of information obtained under the RTI Act, the Madras High Court Bench here on Friday directed the education officials to shift the students to other schools.
The Tiruchi District Elementary Educational Officer (DEEO) was ordered to transfer immediately all 195 students studying in Standard Six to Eight in Sacred Heart Middle school at Pushpa Nagar, Sangiliandapuram, to two other nearby schools.
A Division Bench comprising Justice V. Ramasubramanian and Justice D. Hariparanthaman held that the temporary recognition granted to the middle school, until October 31, 2009, was illegal.
Mr. Justice Ramasubramanian directed the Collector and the Director of Elementary Education in Chennai to inspect the buildings where the school was accommodating students studying in Standards I to V and ascertain whether they had all necessary facilities.
Source: The Hindu : Tamil Nadu / Madurai News : RTI exposes lack of facilities in school
By Atul Patankar
As reported by Shibu Thomas at timesofindia.indiatimes.com on 14 January 2010
MUMBAI: Taking a strict view of frivolous petitions that flood the courts, the Bombay high court, in an unprecedented move, has ordered a city-based organisation, the Bhrastachar Nirmoolan Sanghatana , to pay Rs 40 lakh as legal costs after dismissing its public interest litigations against a super-luxury tower on Peddar Road. Terming it as an abuse of the process of law , a division bench of acting Chief Justice J N Patel and Justice B R Gavai said that the tendency to file PIL on flimsy grounds needed to be curbed.
The court remarked that it had become a practice to obtain information under the Right To Information Act. A flood of such RTI-based PILs, many with sketchy details, had been filed, added the court. The petitioners who drag people to court themselves do not have anything to lose, said the HC, adding that it caused harm not only to the finances of the respondents but also to their reputation.
The judges gave the organisation four weeks to pay Rs 10 lakh each to the opposite parties: the BMC, Ispat Industries (owner of the Pedder Road land) and builders Peddar Realty Developers and Sameer Bhojwani. And, if the amount was not paid within the stipulated time, the court asked the collector to initiate proceedings against the trustees of the NGO to recover the money, including seizing their properties.
The tower, coming up on Pedder Road, has 18 duplex flats of around 6,000 square feet each, with the premium price tag reportedly starting at Rs 75,000 per square foot.
Source: HC ire on frivolous PILs: NGO fined Rs 40 lakh - Mumbai - City - The Times of India