The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently refused to stay the development of the Punjab section of the Delhi-Katra Expressway. [Darshan Singh and Ors. vs Union of India and Ors.]
A bench of Justices Lisa Gill and Ritu Tagore found no ground to grant interim relief to 127 petitioners who contended that their houses and other structures were being demolished for the project without any supplementary award being passed.
The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) claimed before the Court that the plea was misleading and contrary to the factual position.
To support this claim, they produced satellite images demonstrating that the house of only one of petitioners was falling within the alignment of the project. The NHAI further highlighted that the main structure of the house was outside the alignment and only its boundary wall fell within it.
Further, the NHAI stated that with regards to the boundary wall, a supplementary award had been issued by the competent authority. Ot was further pointed out that the petitioners had not even made any claim regarding other structures such as tube wells or bore wells.
The petitioners claimed that they were not aware of any supplementary award and that they had not received any compensation. They sought to raise other arguments and pleas challenging the very acquisition of land itself.
Upon consideration, the High Court refused to entertain any plea for interim stay to halt the project.
“Be that as it may, at this stage arguments were addressed qua interim relief. We do not find any ground whatsoever to grant any interim relief at this stage to scuttle the project namely ‘Development of Punjab Section of Delhi-Katra Expressway including green field connectivity to Amritsar’,” the Court stated.
The case will be heard next on July 10.
Additional Advocate General Sandeep Jain, Senior Advocate Chetan Mittal and advocates Abhilaksh Gaind, Rakesh Roy, and Mayank Aggarwal appeared on behalf of the respondents.
The petitioners were represented by advocate CS Bagri.