The Supreme Court on Thursday deferred a hearing on widening of roads in border areas amidst a verbal duel with Citizen for Green Doon, an NGO, alleging that the Centre is resorting to bench “avoidance” by insisting the case be adjudicated by a vacation bench instead of the regular bench and the Centre rubbishing the allegations as delaying tactics.
At the outset of the proceedings, senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the NGO, told a bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Dinesh Maheshwari that he had filed a written submission and pleaded the bench to go through it.
But Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, immediately took strong objection and submitted that the petitioner not be allowed to raise baseless and motivated allegations.
In the written submission, the NGO said, “The application under consideration is for the modification of the order dated September 8, 2020, passed by a three-judge bench. It is humbly submitted that any modification of this order would be required to be done by a threejudge bench. It is further humbly submitted that the matter be placed before the regular bench for the reason that the Union of India is engaging in the most unfortunate activity of Bench avoidance.”
It further said there is no urgency to hear the matter during vacation when the Centre had requested for adjournments repeatedly before the regular bench which had heard the matter on 18 dates. Questioning the motive of the NGO, solicitor general Tushar Mehta said there is some other “source of inspiration” for the NGO to raise such objections when the country urgently needed to improve military infrastructure.