Sikkim High Court on Thursday rejected a Suo Moto Public Interest Litigation. This PIL was filed by the residents of the Syari, a district of East Sikkim. The issue was treated as a PIL on the basis of a letter written on the Third of March, 2020. The letter mentioned that the people of the said location were facing problems after they were barred from using the footpath along with the entry point from the Army area - the Ganju Lama Dwar.
Facts of the Case -
In the letter, the residents had been using the footpath for years. There was no other route available which connected their houses to the main road. The fencing of the entire Army area by the Army personnel and locking the area and barring the residents of the said area from commuting through the route. This gesture had led to several problems and difficulties.
Thus, the applicants requested the High Court to institute a Public Interest Litigation. Thus, the issue was considered by the Sikkim Court several times.
The first order was passed on the 18th of March 2020 and the last order was passed on the 7th of October, this year.
During the pendency of the matter, several affidavits were filed. The Division Bench of Chief Justice Biswanath Somadder and Justice Meenakshi Madan Rao hoped to focus on the affidavit affirmed by the Special Secretary of Land Revenue and Disaster Management Department on 21st September 2021.
Paragraph 4 of the affidavit talks about -
The road from ‘VC Ganju Lama Dwar’, Deorali to Syari, falling under the jurisdiction of the Indian Army will remain open for commuters and for Public Transport till an alternative solution is worked out.
ii. There will be no restrictions for transportation of essential commodities, milk supply, and other necessary items from this road/route.
iii. The contact no. of the concerned person (Army) will be displayed on the gate in case any sort of permission is required for emergency entry and exit.
iv. Alternative roads will be constructed subject to the No Objection Certificate from the landowners.
v. Principal Chief Engineer, Roads and Bridges Department, Government Operations Secretive will facilitate the surveying of the proposed alternative road in consultations with the public of the area if NOC for the same is obtained.
vi. The village Panchayat will work on the modalities for the identification of genuine vehicles/persons entering the gate.
The Court thus dismissed the plea with a view to following the resolution which was agreed upon by all and passed on the 29th of July 2021.
Case Title - Mr. S.S. Hamal vs Ms. Sangita Pradhan
Bench: Hon'ble Justice - Meenakshi Madan Rai
Record of Proceedings through Video Conferencing
Citation -WP (PIL) No. 02/2020
Counsel appearing For Petitioner: Mr. S.S. Hamal, Legal Aid Counsel.
Counsel appearing For Respondent No.1: Ms. Sangita Pradhan, Asst. Solicitor General of India.
Counsel appearing For Respondent No.2: Mr. Sudesh Joshi, Addl. Advocate General, Mr. Sujan Sunwar, Asst. Govt. Advocate.
Date of Ruling 21st of October 2021
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