Supreme Court bench of the Chief Justice, J.S.Khehar, and justices D.Y.Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul, has on Monday (April 10) dismissed the Special Leave Petition filed against Punjab and Haryana High Court’s judgment refusing to prosecute officials responsible for accidents caused by badly constructed/maintained roads and bridges.
The SLP was filed by Arrive Safe Society of Chandigarh, one of the petitioners (NGO), in the recent Highway Liquor ban case in the Supreme court, which went in its favour.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court, while rejecting the Society’s petition on August 10 last year, observed as follows:
“If specific material is brought on record as to where a particular bridge or road has been improperly constructed in violation of fixed norms and accidents could occur there, certain remedial measures could be made. However, passing an omnibus order for all roads and bridges to be properly maintained and in absence thereof, criminal prosecution or departmental action would be liable to be initiated against the defaulting officials of the Public Works Department (Buildings and Roads) would be quite improper. In case, some directions for proper maintenance and upkeep of roads; besides, their constructions are to be issued, these ought to be concrete, specific and enforceable so that the genuine issues are adjudicated and the problem solved by taking remedial measures.”
The High Court, therefore, asked the Society to file a proper petition by submitting material and clearly mentioning and indicating the improper construction of roads and bridges and giving information of the officials concerned who may be liable.
The Supreme Court bench found no justification whatsoever to interfere with the High Court judgment under Article 136 of the Constitution.
Read the Order here.