SC rejects plea to try officials for mishaps due to bad roads

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has declined to entertain an appeal against a Punjab and Haryana High Court order refusing to prosecute officials for accidents caused due to poorly-constructed and maintained roads and bridges.

A bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul dismissed the plea at the threshold saying the petitioner NGO did not provide materials sought by the high court during the hearing of the PIL.

The apex court said that there was no reason for it to interfere with the high court order.

Chandigarh-based NGO, Arrive Safe Society, had filed the appeal against the Punjab and Haryana High Court order refusing to prosecute officials responsible for accidents caused by badly constructed/ maintained roads and bridges.

The High Court had, on August 10 last year, rejected the petition by the NGO saying it would be improper to pass an omnibus order for all roads and bridges to be properly maintained and in absence thereof, criminal prosecution or departmental action would be liable to be initiated against the defaulting officials of the Public Works Department (Buildings and Roads).

The high court had also said that if any specific material was brought on record as to where a particular bridge or road has been improperly constructed in violation of fixed norms and accidents could occur there, certain remedial measures could be made.