HC nod for highway widening

HC nod for highway widening

The High Court of Karnataka on Friday disposed of a suo motu petition pertaining to widening of Humnabad-Bijapur National Highway after the counsel for National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) submitted that only 2,210 trees will be felled against the earlier estimation of 35, 676 trees.

During the hearing, counsel for NHAI submitted a memo stating that following the High Court directions, it conducted a re-survey of the 223-km stretch proposed to be widened. As per the fresh survey by Mott Mac Donald, only 2,210 trees will be felled instead of the estimated 35,676, the counsel said. 

He submitted that the highway links Mumbai, Hyderabad and Vijayawada.

A division bench accepted the memo and disposed of the petition while appreciating the service of the amicus curiae, M S Bhagwath. The court had taken up a suo motu petition following a report published in Deccan Herald on August 20, 2012, stating that thousands of trees face the axe for the proposed road widening project.

‘Clear encroachments’

The HC, in a public interest litigation, directed the Chikkaballapur deputy commissioner to remove encroachments on the road between Chintamani and Cholur, within 50 days.

Ramakrishnappa, a resident of Bukkanahalli, had approached the court alleging that the widening of 32.25-km of road was being delayed as the deputy commissioner had not disposed of the appeals filed by property owners challenging their eviction. He had claimed that of the 102 encroachments, 92 had been cleared, while nine had challenged their eviction.

The government informed the court that the encroachment will be cleared at the earliest with the assistance of Public Works Department. The petition was disposed of accordingly.

‘Return land’

The High Court has directed the Karnataka Housing Board (KHB) to return 60-acre land acquired near Anekal of Bangalore Rural district to form phase IV of Surya City Layout, to landowners.

Justice Anand Byra Reddy observed that permission had not been obtained from the State government and other competent authorities to form a layout on the land acquired. The landowners had approached the court challenging acquisition of their properties.
RGUHS scam: Judge recuses from case

Karnataka High Court Judge Justice Venugopalagowda has recused himself from hearing a petition filed by former Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) Registrar (Evaluation) N S Ashok Kumar challenging his suspension in connection with his alleged involvement in marks scam.

The matter was listed before Justice Gowda on Friday and when it came for hearing, he said the matter should not be heard by him and directed the High Court registry to place the matter before the Chief Justice so that it can be assigned to some other bench. 

An inquiry committee constituted by the university submitted its report to the vice-chancellor last week, which found prima facie evidence against Ashok Kumar. Following the report, the vice-chancellor suspended him and the same was challenged before the court.

The court has stayed the proceedings in another case against Ashok and H N Ramesh, proprietor of Logisys (software provider for RGUHS). 

The Department of Medical Education had filed a complaint against the two, alleging breach of trust and cheating.

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