Supreme Court stays Punjab & Haryana High Court order to open road outside Punjab CM residence to public

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The Supreme Court on Friday stayed an order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to open the road outside the residence of Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to public [State of Punjab vs Union Territory of Chandigarh and ors].

A Bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta issued notice to the Union Territory of Chandigarh and stayed the High Court direction to open the road on trial basis.

This was after both the Union Territory of Chandigarh and the State of Punjab opposed the High Court order in unison.

“Issue notice. Direction on opening road on trial basis is stayed till further orders but the writ petition proceedings before the High Court can continue,” the apex court ordered.

Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for Chandigarh administration, submitted that the move could have grave implications on someone’s life.

“This is playing with somebody’s life,” SG said.

“Unfortunately in recent years there is resurgence of terrorism. Grenades were thrown at our intelligence building,” Punjab Advocate General too weighed in.

“Roads will not protect from that,” the Court remarked.

The SG, however, objected to certain observations made by the High Court regarding intelligence reports.

“How can High Court say intelligence reports are figment of imagination,” the SG asked.

“Yes those observations were not unnecessary,” the top court concurred.

However, it said that public cannot be inconvenienced.

Nevertheless, it proceeded to stay the order.

Justice Sanjiv Khanna and Justice Dipankar Datta
The Bench was hearing the Punjab government’s appeal against an April 27 Punjab & Haryana High Court order.

The High Court had ordered the opening of a 500-metre stretch outside the Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann’s residence, connecting Sukhna Lake to Nayagaon, on a trial basis from May 1.

The High Court had directed Chandigarh Police to engage experts for preparing a traffic management plan for the road that has to be opened from 7 am and 7 pm on all working days.

The area was closed to the public since the 1980s, leading to long detours.

The Police of Haryana and Punjab, as well as the Chandigarh administration had opposed the reopening plans that arose while the High Court was hearing petitions concerning the Union Territory’s infrastructure.

Punjab’s petition has been filed through Advocate Nupur Kumar.

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