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HC issues contempt notice to Manpritam Singh, Executive Engineer, National Highway Division,PWD(B&R)


Chandigarh (Gurpreet) HC issues contempt notice to Manpritam Singh, Executive Engineer, National Highway Division, PWD(B&R) Branch, Ferozepur, for non-compliance with the undertaking to review the project of construction of road between Ferozepur to Muktsar Sahib (via Sadiq) for saving more and more trees;-

HC Bench comprising Justice B.S. Walia today issued contempt notice to Manpritam Singh, Executive Engineer, National Highway Division, PWD(B&R) Branch, Ferozepur for 2.5.2022, for non-compliance with the directions contained in the order dated 1st February, 2022, passed in Public Interest Litigation filed by Advocate H.C. Arora. Advocate Arora who appeared in person, brought it to the notice of High Court that while disposing Public Interest Litigation filed by him, vide order dated 1st February, 2022, a Division Bench of the High Court had recorded an undertaking on behalf of counsels for various parties, including the counsel for the State of Punjab,that although the project had been cut down and only 11,000 old trees would be required to be cut, yet they would still examine the feasibility of saving further trees, and take a decision thereon at the earliest, and thereafter only proceed in the matter. Further, an undertaking was recorded that the decision so arrived at would be communicated to the petitioner also.

The petitioner-Advocate H.C. Arora conveyed it to the Contempt Court that he has received a letter dated 17th March, 2022 from Sh. Manpritam Singh, Executive Engineer, PWD(B&R) Branch, Ferozepur, and he was surprised to go through the said letter, which did not at all state as to whether review of the project of construction of road from Ferozepur to Muktsar Sahib (via Sadiq) had been conducted or not, and as to what efforts were made by the authorities to save more trees. The letter does not state as to whether any revised proposal for construction of the aforesaid road was forwarded by Manpritam Singh to the Secretary, Union of India, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, New Delhi. However, it was conveyed by Manpritam Singh to the petitioner that the trees coming in the way of construction of the road would have to be cut. Thus, as per submissions made by the petitioner, Manpritam Singh, Executive Engineer has committed contempt of the directions issued by this Hon’ble Court in its order dated 1st February, 2022 in Public Interest Litigation filed by petitioner.

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