Approach authorities first: Delhi High Court tells resident seeking potable water
New Delhi, Sep 5: The Delhi High Court has refused to entertain a public interest litigation seeking basic various amenities such as potable water, sewage lines and plantations of trees in a locality here, saying such grievances have to be first raised before the authorities concerned.
A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh granted liberty to the petitioner, a resident of the locality, to prefer a representation to the authorities, detailing the "exact grievances including suggestions, if any".
"Needless to state that if and when such a representation is preferred by the petitioner, the concerned authorities shall look into the issues highlighted and grievances ventilated, in accordance with law and government policies," the court stated in order dated August 18.
The bench further clarified that in case of any surviving grievances, it will be open to the petitioner to resort to appropriate remedies available to him in law.
The court opined that the platform of a public interest litigation cannot be used to seek information from the authorities and if the petitioner wanted details of utilization of development funds allotted for the locality, the remedy under the Right to Information Act, 2005 was available to him.
"In case the petitioner is aggrieved due to non-supply of the information, if and when sought for, he has a remedy of First Appeal and thereafter a Second Appeal under Sections 17(1) and 17(3) of the Right to Information Act, 2005, respectively. Thus, petitioner is not remediless and has an alternate efficacious remedy," the court stated.
"Petitioner has approached this court without even preferring a single representation before the concerned Authorities to ventilate the grievances. It would be appropriate if the petitioner first approaches the authorities tasked with the functions, whose inactions are complained of. Hence, we see no reason to entertain this petition at this stage," said the bench.
In his petition, the petitioner, a resident of Gautampuri, Phase-2, Badarpur claimed that there was scarcity of water in area, which ought to be resolved at the earliest in order to save people from "roam(ing) the streets in search of water".
It was also submitted that the area faced the problem of open defecation, dilapidated roads and encroachment in parks and sought reservation of seats for children from weaker section in the area in all the private schools.
The petitioner prayed for removal of illegal occupiers along with the initiation of a plantation to give the children there an opportunity to "live their childhood and get a clean and tidy environment".
It was also submitted that complete details of amount received and spent under the MLA/MP Fund for development work should be displayed in a transparent way for the knowledge of the common person.