The Rajasthan High Court directed the District Collector, Jodhpur to consider the representation of the petitioners and pass an appropriate speaking order in accordance with law as to whether in the construction of National Highway, the layout plan is being deviated and if any unacquired land is being sought to be utilised for the construction of the road.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Rekha Borana disposed of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) complaining that the respondents were not constructing the National Highway in accordance with the layout plan prepared way back in 1993-94.
In constructing the road, they are deviating from the layout plan and are adamant to utilise the land of the villagers, which was never notified for acquisition for the National Highway.
It is observed by the Bench that the issues whether there is any deviation from the layout plan or that unacquired land is likely to be utilised for the construction of the road, are all factual matters. The petitioners in this connection have submitted a detailed representation to the District Magistrate, Jodhpur. The District Magistrate on consideration of the said representation has required the Sub Divisional Officer to hold an enquiry and to submit a report to him.
Despite the above letter of the District Magistrate dated 14.10.2022 addressed to the Sub Divisional Officer, the High Court noted that the SDO has not submitted any enquiry report though the National Highway Authority of India vide letter dated 20.10.2022 has written to the petitioners for providing certain information relating to the complaint. The fact however remains that so far, on the representation of the petitioners, no final decision has been taken.
In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances, the High Court disposed of the petition with the direction to the District Collector, Jodhpur to consider the aforesaid representation of the petitioners after getting all the necessary facts verified from the various authorities and after obtaining the reports as he may deem fit from his subordinates and pass an appropriate speaking order in accordance with law as to whether in the construction of National Highway, the layout plan is being deviated and if any unacquired land is being sought to be utilized for the construction of the road. The District Collector shall pass the aforesaid order most expeditiously, preferably within a period of three months from the date of receipt of copy of this order , the Court further directed.