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Bombay HC raps BMC for non-functional tablets, says will make schools party to case

A PIL has been filed by an Andheri-based activist, alleging a scam in the procurement of tablets and their distribution.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
January 7, 2017 3:46:25 am
BMC, BMC schools, BMC tablet scheme, Bombay HC BMC, Bombay HC, Bombay High Court, mumbai news, india news, indian express Bombay High Court. (File Photo)

Questioning the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on what it was doing about 10,000 non-functional tablets supplied by the civic body to students of civic schools, the Bombay High Court Friday said it would make schools where such tablets were distributed party in the case to understand the “knowledge gained after expenditure of Rs 50 crore.”

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A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in the High Court by an Andheri based activist Prithviraj Maske, alleging a scam in the procurement of tablets and their distribution in the civic body’s tablet scheme.

The matter was being heard by a division bench of Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice G S Kulkarni. “Has the commissioner of the education department looked into the matter and done something about the 10,000 non-functional tablets?” the court said.

It also sought to know if BMC had got any warranty for repairs and was informed that there was warranty for three years.

The High Court asked for names of schools where such tablets were given so they could be made a party for genuinely understanding the grievance made by the petitioner.

“The BMC procured around 22,000 tablets in 2015-16 of which 10,000 are not working. In 2016-17 around 15,000 more such tablets were provided to the students of BMC schools. The petitioner has visited corporation schools.”

“We want to know names of such schools so that they can be included as a party to understand knowledge gained by spending 50 crore,” said the Chief Justice.

Maske’s petition listed several anomalies in the fulfillment of the tender that a private company had undertaken, with nod from the civic body.

The civic body had procured each tablet at a cost of Rs 6,850.

The petition alleges that the civic body had said that the 22,799 tablets would contain state board course syllabus and were intended for students enrolled in Marathi, English, Hindi and Urdu language programmes, which would remain with the students for three years, till which time they would clear Class X.

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