HC asks for all cases related to widening of national highway

Srinagar: Asking the government to not be a silent spectator while deaths were taking place in road accidents on the national highway, the J&K High Court on Friday directed that all cases related to the road-widening work on the highway be brought to its notice.
Counsel GN Shaheen and Ashraf Wani had submitted before the court that due to the non-completion of the work of widening the road, a large number of deaths had been reported between the previous court order on this issue and till now. They submitted that 12 deaths had taken place, not because of negligence of drivers but on account of shooting stones and landslides.
The court after hearing the counsels said, “We cannot comment on the issue unless the response is filed by the respondents, but we make it clear that the respondents shall not be silent spectators on the issue of deaths which are taking place frequently on the national highway from Jammu to Srinagar.”
Counsel NA Baba, appearing for the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), when asked about the delay in completion of the road widening, submitted that it was because of the delayed process of land acquisition and also due to pendency of some cases in subordinate courts at district Ramban.
The court after hearing the counsel directed all the subordinate courts, including the District and Sessions Judge, Ramban, within whose jurisdiction the cases were filed to not entertain such claims in future.
“Any claim arising out of the widening of the road, be it qua acquisition of land or claim of compensation or on account of any other subject, shall henceforth be brought to the notice of this court in this PIL,” the court directed.
The court will again hear the matter on March 16.

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