This Public Interest Litigation was filed by the National Federation of the Blind (Petitioner) in the interest of persons with blindness, under the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (“RPD Act”). The petition challenged Circular No. 469/2018 dated 06.06.2018 (“Impugned Circular”) issued by the Respondent No. 1, Bangalore Municipal Transport Corporation (“BMTC”), by which the facility of free passes for Vajra (Volvo) buses to persons with total blindness was withdrawn.
Ms.Kothari posited that the expansion of locus standi gave marginalised groups wider access to courts. She agreed with Mr. Bhuwania that with the enlargement of the role of amicus curiae, the procedural norms of fair hearing were put at risk. Thus the expanded powers of the Supreme Court were a product of “ad-hoc-ism” under Articles 32 and 226. While acknowledging the informal nature of the PIL process Ms. Kothari was positive that the courts could play a role in social transformation through Social Action Litigation (SAL). Mr.Bhuwania in response declared that the citizenry had a “schizophrenic view” of the judiciary, wherein the Supreme Court and High Courts in India were viewed as the ultimate solvers of issues while the lower courts were only expected to solve petty issues. He stressed the fact that the blurred division between representative standing and citizen standing led to PILs being filed on inconsequential grounds.
CLPR is proud to support India’s first edition of the Humane Society’s International Animal Protection PIL Competition, organised by NLSIU.