The Chhattisgarh High Court dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed seeking direction to the respondent authorities to take immediate action and please to order to frame necessary guideline and make a proper/common platform for the various department of Government so that misscommunication/non-communication could not be done between the officials.
Shubhank Tiwari, counsel for the petitioner submits that the Chhattisgarh Grih Nirman Mandal is carrying out the construction over the area of proposes Road, which is ought to have 18 meter wide, which was notified under Section 19(5) of the Chhattisgarh Nagar Tatha Gram Nivesh Adhiniyam, 1973.
After having knowledge about the Master Plan in which the Road i.e. M.R. No. 19 was shown as 18 meter wide, in which the Chhattisgarh Grih Nirman Mandal is constructing the house/structure by showing the same road to be 12 meter wide.
Tiwari further submitted that a request/representation was made by the petitioner before the respondent No. 7 (Collector, Mahasamund) stating specifically about the construction of House/Structure in the area of proposed road.
Thereafter, the petitioner has applied through RTI in which the concerned Authority has given the Layout & Service Plan, Main Plot Area Calculation, 4 Area Statement, Map of Chhattisgarh Housing Board, Division Mahasamund in which, it is abundantly clear from the map itself that the area for road is left is 12 meter, which ought to be 18 meter wide as per Mahasamund Master Plan (M.R. No. 19) and the Chhattisgarh Grih Nirman Mandal is raising construction over the said 6 meter proposed road, if the road in near future gets widened, then without demolition of the structure/house it could not be done.
It is further submitted by Tiwari that Chhattisgarh Grih Nirman Mandal has started raising construction over one side of the road, which is at initial stage. Despite of knowledge about width of road to be 18 meter, the Chhattisgarh Grih Nirman Mandal is raising construction over 6 meters of road.
On the other hand, H.S. Ahluwalia, Deputy Advocate General, appearing for respondents No. 1 & 4 to 9/State submits that vide order dated 01.04.2000 permission was granted by the respondent No. 5 (Director, Town and Country Planning) for development of land for residential colony on land of total area 7.55 hectare at Mahasamund, the said approval was granted under Section 28 of the Adhiniyam, 1973 and under Rule 27(1) of Madhya Pradesh/Chhattisgarh Land Development Rule, 1984 with certain conditions.
At that time, as per layout and service plan the width of the Major Road No. 19 running within the residential colony was shown to be 12 meter. The approval was granted on the approved layout showing the width of the Major Road No. 19 to be 12 meter. Further, the respondent No. 3 (Executive Engineer Chhattisgarh Housing Board) on 26.04.2012 preferred an application under Section 17(1) for approval to certain amendment to the earlier approved development plan which was rejected by the authority vide order dated 19.12.2012. Against the rejection order, the Housing Board Authority preferred an appeal before under Section 31 of the Adhiniyam, 1973, which was allowed and the matter was remanded back to respondent No. 5 for fresh consideration. In compliance of the order dated 23.02.2013 passed by the Appellate Authority, the respondent No. 5 vide order dated 30.01.2014 approved the proposed amended layout and at that time in the amended layout the width of the Major Road No. 19 was approved to be of 12 meter.
It is further submitted by Ahluwalia the State Government vide notification constituted planning area of Mahasamund to define limits thereof, the respondent No. 5 through notification dated 22.11.2005 which was published in gazette on 20.01.2006 came up with information regarding preparation of existing land use maps and register of the Mahasamund Planning Area.
The respondent No. 5 carried out a survey and prepared an existing land use map under Section 15 of the Adhiniyam, 1973, forthwith the same was published in two prominent local newspapers inviting objections and suggestions in writing from the public within 30 days from the date of publication of such notice.
In the said notification the limits of planning is described and further, it has been mentioned that a copy of map will be available for inspection with effect from 23.11.2005 in the office of the Collector, Mahasamund, office of the Chief Municipal Officer, Mahasamund, Municipal Corporation, Mahasamund and office of the Joint Director, Town and Country Planning, Division Office Raipur. In the proposed land use map the width of the Major Road No. 19 was shown to be 12 meter.
Ahluwalia also submits that the respondent No. 5 upon receiving report from the convener of the Committee constituted under sub-section 3 of Section 17A of the Adhiniyam, 1973 came up with another notification, which was published in gazette on 17.04.2015 about the draft development plan under Section 18 of the Adhiniyam, 1973. In the said notification, it was specified that the draft development plan for Mahasamund Planning Area was available for inspection at various public offices. Further, in the said notification it has been mentioned that an exhibition was also organized on 26.03.2015 at Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherji Town Hall, near Kachahari Chowk, Mahasamund and as per draft development plan the width of the Major Road No. 19 was shown to be 18 meter.
Thereafter, the respondent No. 5 proceeded ahead to finalize the development plan under the Mahasamund development scheme, 2031 and accordingly, the development plan was published on 07.01.2016 in gazette under Section 19 (5) of the Adhiniyam, 1973.
It is further submitted that the Mahasamund Development plan-2031 was finalized after considering the objections and suggestions invited from the public. In the development plan-2031, the width of the Major Road No. 19 was shown to be 18 meter.
Ahluwalia further submits that before finalizing the Mahasamund Development Plan-2031 for the District Mahasamund on several occasions objections and suggestions were invited from public and necessary publication was made in the prominent local newspaper.
Inspite of that neither the petitioner not the respondents No. 2 and 3 have turned up to inform the respondent No. 5 regarding existing width of the Major Road No. 19 running within the residential colony is 12 meter, which caused such discrepancy in the Mahasamund Development Plan-2031.
He also submits that the respondents No. 2 and 3 vide letter dated 11.10.2022 intimate the respondent No. 5 that as per Mahasamund Development Plan-2031, the width of the Major Road No. 19 is 18 meter and some portion of road comes within the residential colony constructed by them whose width is 12 meter and further submitted that at present houses has been constructed on both side of the road.
He further submitted that those houses are already sold to the public, therefore, requested a necessary amendment in the Development Plan, as per provision of Section 35 of the Adhiniyam, 1973. Thereafter, the respondent No. 5 amended the Development Plan, as per the provision of Section 35 of the Adhiniyam, 1973.
Having considered the rival submissions made by the learned counsel for the parties and having gone through the materials on record, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Ramesh Sinha and Justice N.K. Chandravanshi said that it is the duty of the Court to ensure that there is no personal gain, private motive and oblique notice behind filing of PIL. In order to preserve the purity and sanctity of the PIL, the Courts must encourage genuine and bonafide PIL and effectively discourage and curb the PIL filed for extraneous considerations.
The Courts should, prima facie, verify the credentials of the petitioner before entertaining a PIL. It is also well-settled that the Courts, before entertaining the PIL should ensure that the PIL is aimed at redressal of genuine public harm or public injury. The Courts should ensure the jurisdiction in public interest is invoked for genuine purposes by persons who have bona fide credentials and who do not seek to espouse or pursue any extraneous object.
Otherwise, the jurisdiction in public interest can become a source of misuse by private persons seeking to pursue their own vested interests , observed by the High Court.
Considering the submissions made by the learned counsel for the parties, the Bench did not find any locus of the petitioner in this matter because before finalizing the Mahasamund Development Plan-2031 for the District Mahasamund on several occasions objections and suggestions were invited from public and necessary publication was made in the prominent local newspaper, inspite of that petitioner has not turned up to inform the respondent No. 5 regarding existing width of the Major Road No. 19 running within the residential colony is 12 meter and thereafter, respondent No. 5 as per provision of Section 35 of the Adhiniyam, 1973 amended the said Development Plan.