Chandigarh Administration & Ors Vs. Namit Kumar & Ors  Insc 589 (27
ARIJIT PASAYAT & PRAKASH PRABHAKAR NAOLEKAR [With CA No..6308/2004 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 14342/98, CA No.6310/2004
(Arising out of SLP (C) No. 14639/98, CA Nos. .6311-6312/2004 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 76-77/99, CA No.6309/2004
(Arising out of SLP (C) No. 13994/99 and CA No..6313/2004 (Arising out of SLP
(C) No. 13720/99] ARIJIT PASAYAT, J.
Leave granted in SLP (C) Nos. 14342/98, 14639/98, 76-77/99, 13994/99 and
In all these appeals challenge is to some of the directions given by the Punjab
and Haryana High Court while dealing with a public interest litigation filed by
an advocate and two doctors. Their main grievance was that there was immense air
and noise pollution, traffic congestion and unsystematic functioning of the
various authorities. It was specifically highlighted that there was increase in
the number of vehicular accidents which resulted from absence of proper traffic
Civil Appeal No. 3700/1999 has been filed by the Chandigarh Administration.
The appeals corresponding to SLP (C) No. 13994/99 and SLP (C) No. 14639/98
relate to a direction for use of helmets by ladies. Appeals corresponding to
SLP (C) Nos.76-77/99 have been filed by the Government of Haryana taking the
stand that some of the directions cannot be implemented due to financial
The Chandigarh Administration has called in question some of the directions
which we shall deal with individually.
Direction no.10 relates to levy of parking charges. The High Court directed
that the concerned authorities shall provide parking space and properly utilize
the existing space in and around the commercial and public places.
Additionally, it was directed that any person who enjoys the parking facilities
should be charged keeping in view the period for which such vehicle was parked
in the prescribed parking area.
Learned counsel for the appellant-Chandigarh Administration submitted that
though the direction is being implemented in letter and spirit, some
difficulties arise while fixing parking charges.
Considering the difficulties highlighted, we modify the order to the extent
that it shall be for the Chandigarh Administration to fix the quantum of
parking charges taking into account all relevant factors.
So far as direction no.23 is concerned, the same relates to introduction of
one way traffic in Sectors 24, 17 and institutional and commercial sectors. It
is submitted that wherever there is a need for introducing one way traffic
system, the same will be introduced. There is no difficulty in introducing the
system in institutional and commercial sectors but liberty should be given to
the Administration to make relaxation taking into account the relevant factors.
We modify the direction to the extent that proper traffic arrangements shall be
made. If the Administration wants to relax the one way traffic system in any
sector, the same can only be done by indicating the special features which
warrant such a departure. The reasons shall be recorded and placed before the
High Court so that it can be examined whether the reasons indicated justify the
So far as long term directions are concerned, in direction no.2 it has been
stipulated that whatever suggestions are made by the High Power Committee shall
be treated as directions of the High Court. It was submitted that before these
recommendations and suggestions are treated to be directions of the High Court,
an opportunity be granted to the Administration to have its say. We consider
the prayer to be reasonable. We modify the direction to the extent that
whenever any suggestion is received from the High Power Committee the
Administration shall be given an opportunity to have its say and thereafter the
High Court shall pass necessary orders either accepting the recommendations or
modifying the same suitably, if necessary.
One of the major difficulties highlighted by the Chandigarh Administration
relates to the utilization of vehicles of Chandigarh Transport Undertaking. It
was pointed out that to make the undertaking commercially and financially
viable, operation of inter-state routes is a necessity. It is submitted that a
number of vehicles plying inside the territory are sufficient to meet the local
demands. In any event, it is submitted that the need for catering to the needs
of traveling public can also be considered while making the undertaking
financially and commercially viable.
Learned counsel for respondent no.1 who was writ petitioner submitted that
the High Court while passing directions had taken note of the ground realities
and no modification is necessary. Considering the rival contention we feel that
it would be appropriate for the Chandigarh Administration to file an
application before the High Court indicating the factual details so that the
Court can decide as to whether any modification of the direction is called for.
One of the directions which was also termed as impracticable related to the
direction that parking space will be provided in all the sectors but no vehicle
should be permitted to be parked in any other area more particularly on the
main road or internal roads of the sectors.
Learned counsel for the respondent-writ petitioner submitted that the
direction which is no.15 has to be read with the condition which notes that
sufficient lane parking space can be used in all the areas wherever it is
possible and workable.
Learned counsel for the appellant-Chandigarh Administration submitted that
if parking is not permitted, it would mean that even old, disabled persons,
children, and ladies have to walk long distance to go their residential house.
We feel the High Court can consider whether any viable arrangement can be
worked out taking into account suggestions made by the Chandigarh Administration
and other parties before the High Court.
One of the directions which has been assailed by several appellants relates
to direction no.14 regarding use of helmets. The exemption has only been
extended to Sikh women while driving. All others including women are required
to wear helmets. Stand of the appellants is that such direction is contrary to
several statutory prescriptions. Particular reference has been made to Section
85A of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 (in short the 'Old Act') and Section 129 of
the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (hereinafter referred to as the 'New Act'). It
appears that Clause 3 of the Motor Vehicles (Protective Headgears) Rules, 1980
exempts Sikh women from wearing helmets.
Reliance is also placed on Rule 193 of the Punjab Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989
and Rule 193 of the Chandigarh Motor Vehicles Rules, 1990 to contend that Sikh
women are exempt from wearing the helmets, and, therefore the High Court could
not have given the direction contrary to the suggestion.
It appears that the Rules were not brought to the notice of the High Court.
We, therefore, direct that if any exemption is granted to any person including
Sikh women from any of the Motor Vehicles Rules relating to different States or
areas or under any Statutory Rule the same shall operate notwithstanding the
directions of the High Court that all persons including women shall wear
One other direction which has been assailed relates to the use of black
films on the glasses. It is submitted that Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989
(in short 'Central Rules') provide for the measure to be taken in such cases.
We find that sub-rule (2) of Rule 100 of the said Rules deals with the issue.
We, therefore, modify the direction of the High Court to the extent that while
carrying out the directions, the mandate of sub-rule (2) of Rule 100 shall be
kept in view. This shall be in addition to any security requirement as may be
laid down by the law and order enforcing agencies.
The direction has been given for demolition of booths. Learned counsel for
the Chandigarh Administration submitted that these are not on the main road but
were on the diversion used when the roads were not operational. Learned counsel
for respondent no.1 submitted that records were produced before the High Court
for which strong exception was taken.
We feel that the materials which were not produced before the High Court
shall be brought to the notice of the High Court so that necessary orders can
be passed after consideration. We make it clear that we have not expressed any
opinion on the merits of the rival contentions.
Appeals relating to SLP (C) Nos. 76-77/99 are by the State of Haryana.
Direction nos. 20 and 24 were sought to be modified as the staff position is
not adequate even to meet the normal functioning. We permit the State of
Haryana to move the High Court for modification and place materials in support
of the stand. The High Court shall consider the request in its proper
perspective and pass necessary orders.
It has been submitted that directions have been given to remove all
advertisements facing the highway, main roads and the side roads.
The stand of the Government is that the same would result in huge loss of
revenue by way of license fees for the licenses which have been granted for the
purpose. It was pointed out that persons who would be affected were not heard.
Though while dealing with issues like environmental pollution and road hazards
there is no need for giving notice to all the persons affected, it shall be
open to the State Government or licencee to bring to the notice of the High
Court that there is no safety hazard involved. The High Court shall consider
them, if raised, in the proper perspective.
One of the directions also relates to the providing of sign boards. The
learned counsel for the State submitted that it will not be possible to
implement the direction immediately and the State Government would do it in a
phased manner. It is open to the State Government to approach the High Court
for modification of the direction.
In appeal relating to SLP(C) No. 13720/99, the direction is for fulfilling
all conditions in terms of Section 66 of the New Act. It was submitted that
certain institutions using the vehicle are exempt from permit in terms of
sub-section (3)(h) of Section 66 of the New Act.
But we find that sub-section (3) of Section 66 has been deleted w.e.f.
11.8.2000. Therefore, the plea relating to exemption has no substance.
The appeal relating to SLP 13994/99 is dismissed.
All other appeals are disposed of as indicated above. There will be no order
as to costs.