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J&K HC dismisses PIL against construction of bridge

Last Updated: Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 20:16

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Thursday dismissed a public interest litigation filed by a lawyer and three teachers against the construction of a bridge over river Jhelum adjacent to a missionary school here.

A division Bench of Chief Justice MM Kumar and Justice AM Magray while disposing of the PIL said, "We do not find any ground to entertain this petition."

The Bench also imposed a cost of Rs 50,000 on the petitioners which they shall bear equally and pay within one month from today.

The petitioners had claimed that the bridge, which will connect Poloview area with Rajbagh, was a threat to the ecology and also posed a grave danger to the students of Presentation Convent School.

"The plea as to the security of the children of Presentation Convent School has to be taken with a pinch of salt. Already there are two four-lane roads running on two sides of the school constructed in pursuance of the instant project ... Therefore, there seems to be no justification in saying that the bridge in question would jeopardise the security of the students of the school," the Bench observed.

The court said the pleas of harm to ecology and environment are also figments of imagination.

"On the contrary, the petitioners want that part of heritage Emporium Garden should be converted into a road by constructing a bridge parallel to Abdullah Bridge that would eventually fall in the said garden. That being the intention of the petitioners, they cannot be heard on raising issues on ecology and environment," it added.

The court observed that the contents of the petition overwhelmingly make it axiomatic that the petitioners have absolutely no public interest.

"Their endeavour, acting as proxy, is to protect the so-called interests of the school without minding about the larger interests of the populace. The environmental and ecological concerns sought to be raised are merely aimed at giving this petition a colour of public interest litigation," the Bench said.

First Published: Thursday, October 24, 2013 - 20:16
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