Utt HC | Questions regarding laying of a road or alignment thereof, are matters in the Executive realm and not for Court to decide

Uttaranchal High Court: The Bench of Ramesh Ranganathan, C.J. and N.S. Dhanik, J. dismissed a writ petition seeking changes in road alignment and to issue mandamus commanding and directing the respondent to construct the road as per the old survey, the petition further wanted an injunction against the respondent against peaceful possession of irrigated land of the villagers.

The aggrieved petitioner claimed to be a farmer and a duly elected Gram Pradhan of the village. He contended that the roads earlier sanctioned, passed through the Village Panchayat Chamaswada, which would have benefited around 500 families and now the respondent State had shifted the route which now passes through a different village, thereby affected the interests of individuals (villagers). He further contended that Right under Article 300-A of the Constitution, has been violated as per the new layout plan. It drastically affected the interest of several private landholders and they will not get adequate compensation according to Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

The Court opinioned that, petitioner being a Gram Pradhan had a duty towards the people and in any case of grievance may put forward the case to State Government. In this particular case where the main issue was ‘where road should be laid’? or ‘whether the alignment of road should be continued’? is to be decided by Executive and it is out of the purview of Courts to adjudicate upon.

The Court further observed that, all such matters are of Executive realm and even under Article 226 of the Constitution; Courts don’t have the power to take over the functions allocated to Executives and the State agencies. Answering to the issue aforementioned related to violation of private rights of individuals, the Court held, “Needless to state that it is always open to the land-owners, who are aggrieved by the action of the Government in laying a road over their lands, to invoke the jurisdiction of this Court. Leaving it open to those land-owners, who may be aggrieved by the exercise undertaken by the respondents of laying a road without acquisition of their lands, to avail their judicial remedies.” Hence, the writ was dismissed as the petitioner had no locus standi in the relevant issue raised.[Bharat Singh v. State of Uttrakhand, 2019 SCC OnLine Utt 348, Order dated 2-05-2019]

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