The Supreme Court on Friday set aside the Punjab and Haryana high court decision dismissing a public interest litigation (PIL) on the issue of non-completion of sewerage project at Nakodar.
The Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman while allowing a special leave petition filed by former councilor Aditya Bhatara against the decision of the high court dismissing his petition on this issue said having perused the order impugned and after hearing counsels for the parties they are of the view that the HC ought to have offered the appellant (petitioner) an adjudication on merits.
“We, therefore, set aside the high court order and remit the matter to it for adjudication on merits afresh,” the bench said.
A high court division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, justice Augustine Gorge Masih on September 19 last year had dismissed the petition saying a councillor cannot express helplessness in assisting the people who have elected him and then file a public interest litigation seeking performance of municipal functions.
Bhatara had approached the high court for directing the Punjab government to restart and complete the sewerage project.
He had submitted before the bench that the Punjab water supply and sewerage board started the project worth Rs 15 crore in 2006. But it came to a halt in 2007 as the SAD-BJP government stopped the release of funds.
The project was started during the tenure of the Congress government in March 2006 when the then chief minister captain Amrinder Singh had laid down its foundation stone.