At, High Court of Judicature at Madras
By, THE HONOURABLE CHIEF JUSTICE MS. INDIRA BANERJEE & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE M. SUNDAR
For the Petitioner: M/s. T. Sundaravadanam, Advocate. For the Respondents: R3 to R7, T.N. Rajagopalan, Government Pleader (i/c).
(Prayer: Writ Petition filed under Article 226 of the Constitution of India for issuance of a writ of mandamus directing the respondent Nos.3 to 7 to consider the representation dated 21.5.2017 made by the petitioner to construct the flyover bridge at starting chainage at 364.925 metres which ends at 1258.515 metres in the Avinashi – Tiruppur – Palladam – P
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ollachi – Cochin – (Via) Meenkarai (ATPCC Road) in front of Tiruppur Old Bus Stand as per the original alignment plan approved on 11.6.2014 to the extent of 893.590 meters.)
Indira Banerjee, C.J.
1. This writ petition has been filed by way of public interest litigation seeking a writ of mandamus directing respondent Nos.3 to 7 to consider the representation dated 21st May 2017 made by the petitioner with regard to the length of a flyover in front of Tiruppur old bus stand.
2. It is the case of the petitioner that the respondent authorities are not adhering to the original alignment plan approved on 11.06.2014. As per the aforesaid alignment plan, the length of the flyover was to be 893.590 metres.
3. According to the petitioner, the length has arbitrarily been reduced at the time of execution of the project to 671 metres. The petitioner contends that reduction in length will affect smooth flow of traffic. In shortening the length of the bridge, the respondents are compromising on future needs.
4. Unfortunately, this Court, in exercise of jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, neither has expertise nor competence to decide what should be the ideal length, breadth and other parameters of roads, bridges, flyovers etc.
5. In gross cases of denial of basic human and/or civic rights and/or the requisites of a life of dignity, the Court might direct the authorities concerned to provide the facilities, and may even direct construction of a flyover, for road safety, to ease traffic congestion and to avoid inconvenience to the public in general. However, it is not for the Court to supervise the construction. It is not for the Court to decide whether there is any justification in increasing or decreasing the length of a bridge/flyover.
6. Learned Government Pleader (i/c) appearing on behalf of the Respondent Nos.3 to 7 has drawn our attention to an order of a Division Bench of this Court presided over by the then Chief Justice dated 21.07.2016 in W.P.No.25328 of 2016 (T.Sathyamoorthy v. Government of Tamil Nadu and others). The Division Bench of this Court observed that “an advocate, seeks to do the work of a structural engineer with independent thought process to tell the respondents how to build the bridge”. In that case too, it was the contention of the petitioner that the original length of the bridge was sought to be shortened, though the allocation of fund had been the same. The Court held "the aforesaid can hardly be an issue to be raised in a public interest litigation falling completely within the administrative domain, apart from the fact that the petitioner has no expertise in the field at all". The writ petition was dismissed.
7. This Court does not, in exercise of its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, or for that matter in exercise of its jurisdiction to entertain and decide public interest litigations, adjudicate technical disputes with regard to what the length, breadth or other parameters of a flyover or bridge should be. The petitioner does not have the expertise to judge whether the shortening of the length of the flyover is justified or not.
8. Writ petition is dismissed. In future, such frivolous writ petitions which clog the Court, will attract exemplary costs. Consequently, WMP.No.29897 of 2017 is closed.