Virodhi Sangarsh Samiti & Ors Vs. State of U.P & Ors  INSC 342 (7 November 1990)
K.N. (J) Singh, K.N. (J) Kuldip Singh (J)
1990 SCR Supl. (2) 606 1992 SCC Supl. (1) 44 JT 1990 (4) 59 1990 SCALE (2)1003
of India, 1950: Article 32--Tehri Dam
Construction of--Safety aspect--Consideration of--Court can only investigate
and adjudicate the question whether the Government applied its mind.
Law: Tehri Dam--Construction of--Tehri Hydro Power Project--Implementation
of--Safety aspect--Consideration of--Held UOI considered question in various
details and relevant aspects.
petitioners have filed this petition in public interest under Article 32 of the
Constitution praying that the respondents be restrained from constructing and imple-
menting the Tehri Hydro Power Project and the Tehri Dam.
allege that in preparing the plan for Tehri Dam Project the safety aspect.has
not been taking into consideration;
the dam, if allowed to be constructed, will pose a serious threat to the fife,
ecology and the environments of the entire northern India as the site of the
dam is prone to earthquake; and that the Government of India had not applied
its mind to this very important aspect in preparing the project. The
respondents, on the other hand, assert that the Government of India, through
its various departments and ministries has at every stage considered all
relevant data and fully applied its mind to the safety and various other aspects
of the project.
the petition, this Court,
The Union of India considered the question of safety of the project in various
details more than once. It satisfied itself by obtaining the reports of experts
and also took into consideration the dissenting view of Dr. V.K. Gaur. The
project has been finalised after obtaining the expert report of Prof. Jai Krislma.
In the circumstances, it is not possible to hold that the Union of India has
not applied its mind or has not considered the relevant aspects of the safety
of the Dam. [613C-D]
The questions relating to the design of the dam, the seismic potential of site
where the dam is proposed to be constructed, and the various steps which have
been taken for ensuring the safety of the dam 607 are highly intricate
questions relating to science and engineering. This Court does not possess the
requisite expertise to render any final opinion on the rival conten- tions of
the experts. The court can only investigate and adjudicate the question as to
whether the Government was conscious to the inherent danger as pointed out by
the petitioners and applied its mind to the safety of the dam. [613E-G]