Delhi High Court: A Division Bench comprising of Rajendra Menon, C.J. and V. Kameswar Rao, J. dismissed a petition filed by a practicing advocate, in public interest, challenging the government notification increasing the speed limit for plying motor vehicles on national highways.

The Notification impugned, dated 06-04-2018, was issued by Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India whereby speed limit was increased for motor vehicles from 100 kmph to 120 kmph. Further, speed limit for motorcycles was increased from 60 kmph to 80 kmph. The petition was filed on the ground that it violated the fundamental right to life available to citizens under Article 21 of the Constitution; the consequence of increasing the speed limit would be loss of life due to increase in number of accidents which may result due to indiscreet plying of vehicles.

The High Court was of the view that the question of permitting plying of vehicles at a particular speed on a particular road like national highway is an administrative action, an executive action, in fact, a policy decision taken by administrative authorities. Such decision is taken by the authorities after due consideration of various factors based on expert and scientific evaluation. The Court held that merely because there was a possibility of accident due to plying of vehicles on the road on a speed, which according to the petitioner was too high, was no reason to interfere into the matter. It was purely a  policy decision within the domain of legislative power of government; it is not for writ courts to interfere in such matters unless statutory provisions in doing so are found to be breached or violated. Therefore, the petition was dismissed. [Siddhartha Singh v. Union of India, 2018 SCC OnLine Del 11138, dated 05-09-2018]

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