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Allahabad High Court dismisses petitions against construction of National Highway in Shahbajpur

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The Allahabad High Court has dismissed petitions filed against the construction of National Highway in Shahbajpur-Pilibhit.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice J. J. Munir passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Jaywanti Devi.

Challenge in these petitions is to the notifications dated July 16, 2021 and December 22, 2021 issued by respondent no1 (Union of India) under Section 3A and 3D of the National Highways Act, 1956 respectively. The purpose of acquisition, as is available from the aforesaid notifications, is for building (widening two laning with paved shoulders/four-laning etc.), maintenance, management and operation of National Highway-730C, National Highway-730B & National Highway-731K (Shahbajpur-Pilibhit Section) in district Pilibhit, in the State of Uttar Pradesh under Green National Highway Corridor Project.

The Court observed that it is not in dispute that the petitioners did not file any objection after issuance of notification under Section 3A of the Act. The objection was filed only after issuance of notification under Section 3D of the Act stating that the acquisition of the land is bad for the reason that it is in violation of Rule 8 of the National Highways Fee (Determination of Rates and Collection) Rules, 2008 as no Toll Plaza could be established within five kilometres of an industrial area. The land of the petitioners is located within that area.

The Court noted that it is for the purpose of widening, maintenance, management and operation of National Highways in district Pilibhit under Green National Highway Corridor Project, which is a project for development of infrastructure. There is nothing mentioned in the notifications that the acquisition in question is specifically for the purpose of construction of Toll Plaza, rather a large chunk of land, measuring total 122.7152 hectares, was acquired for construction of national highway under the Green National Highway Corridor Project, which is of national importance.

Considering the aforesaid fact that the acquisition is for the purpose of construction of National Highway under Green National Highway Corridor Project, which is a project for development of infrastructure and has national importance, the Court does not find that any case is made out for interference in the petitions.

Accordingly, the Court dismissed the writ petitions.

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