26 Sep 2023 10:15 AM GMT
The Karnataka High Court has dismissed a public interest litigation questioning the construction of an Elevated Corridor for Decongestion of traffic at Rani Chennamma Circle in Hubli City. A division bench of Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Krishna S Dixit said, “Merely because some of the petitioners too have expertise in the matter arguably, they cannot arrogate to themselves...
The Karnataka High Court has dismissed a public interest litigation questioning the construction of an Elevated Corridor for Decongestion of traffic at Rani Chennamma Circle in Hubli City.
A division bench of Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale and Justice Krishna S Dixit said, “Merely because some of the petitioners too have expertise in the matter arguably, they cannot arrogate to themselves all the wisdom & expertise and thereby brand the project in question as being unwise and not feasible.”
The plea was filed by Vikram and 86 others who claimed to be public spirited citizens. They argued that the project in question, if accomplished as designed, would be "highly inconvenient" to the public since it would increase traffic congestion.
It was submitted that the whole project "militates" against the provisions of Indian Road Congress and the minimum required standards such as 30 metres Turning Radius, 25 metres Safe Stopping Site Distance, 2 metres Cycle Tracks, minimum width Foot Paths of 1.8 metres, minimum 7 metres breadth of Service Road, etc., would remain non-compliant.
Deputy Solicitor General Shanthi Bhushan H refuted the averments and informed the court that the project is already half way through.
Court noted that estimated cost of the project in question is Rs.1,96,99,00,000, it is half way through and it is not the case of the petitioners that naive personnel have finalised the project with no expertise in the field. It thus agreed DSG's contention that Judiciary cannot substitute its decisions for those of the Executive in matters like this. It observed,
“The population is growing exponentially and that growth has been posing several challenges to the Administration, one of them being in the realm of Traffic, Transport & Commutation. What construction project, where should be undertaken and what all factors the execution of such projects should involve, are all matters in respect of which courts cannot undertake a deeper examination of the details. They are ordinarily beyond the pale of judicial scrutiny, subject to all just exceptions into which the argued case of the petitioners does not fit into.”
Reliance was placed on Indira Nehru Gandhi v. Rajnarain (1975) in which the Supreme Court identified the doctrine of separation of powers. The court said, “The construction project in question essentially relates to the domain of Executive which will have the advantage of technology, feasibility and finance; courts by their very nature are ill-suited in deciding those factors, if called upon.”
The bench held that its interference at this stage of the construction would be prejudicial to the public interest and State Exchequer.
Accordingly it dismissed the petition.
Appearance: Advocate Monesh Kumar B for petitioners.
DSG H SHANTHI BHUSHAN, FOR R1 & R2.
Advocate Prasad P FOR R4.
AGA Niloufer Akbar FOR R9 & 10.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Kar) 369
Case Title: Vikram & Others AND Union of India & Others
Case No: Writ Petition No 4352 of 2022
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