Calcutta High Court

Calcutta High Court: A writ petition was filed as a public interest litigation by the petitioner seeking an extension of the timing of the last train operated by the Kolkata Metro based on the comparison with other Metro Rails operating in different cities/states, where the last train typically runs until 11:30 p.m. A division bench of T S Sivagnanam CJ, and Hiranmay Bhattacharya, J., directed the authorities concerned to consider the petitioner’s representation dated 10-07-2023, examine the feasibility of the request made in the representation and provide an appropriate reply to the petitioner within a period of four weeks from the date on which the copy of the representation is submitted in the office.

The petitioner’s plea stemmed from the practical inconvenience faced by numerous individuals working in Kolkata who reside outside the city limits. These commuters often rely on the Kolkata Metro for their daily commute. However, the existing timing of the last train, reportedly around 10:45 p.m., posed difficulties for them in reaching their residences after work, especially considering the distances they needed to cover.

The petitioner argued that aligning Kolkata Metro’s last train timing with other metro systems operating until 11:30 p.m. would significantly benefit the working population of Kolkata and improve their commuting experience. The plea was grounded in the public interest, emphasizing the need for transportation services to cater to the practical requirements of commuters.

The Court acknowledged that determining the timing of train operations falls within the jurisdiction of the Metro Rail authorities. It recognized its limitations in delving into technical aspects related to scheduling and operation. However, it emphasized the importance of considering public interest and practical needs while making such decisions.

The Court disposed of the petition and directed the authorities concerned (respondents 3 and 4) to consider the petitioner’s representation dated 10-07-2023. The respondents were further instructed to examine the feasibility of the requested extension and provide an appropriate response within four weeks from the date of submission of the representation along with a copy of the court’s order.

[Akash Sharma v. Union of India, 2024 SCC OnLine Cal 4455, decided on 02-05-2024]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr. Akhilesh Srivastava Mr. Ranajoy Chatterjee Mr. Tamal Singha Roy for the Petitioner

Mr. Sukanta Chakraborty Ms. Mary Datta for the UOI

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