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The Bombay High Court Thursday directed Pune’s National Defence Academy (NDA) to ease security restrictions imposed on the road leading to the tri-services institution, a lawyer said.

 

The directions, spelling a setback for the NDA, came on a bunch of public interest litigations (PILs) challenging the institution’s move to restrict movement of people and vehicles on the five-km long NDA Road on security grounds,” said Sandeep Salunkhe, lawyer for some of the petitioners.

 

“Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Roshan Dalvi of the Bombay High Court have directed NDA to relax barricades for three kms from Chandni Chowk side to Khadakwasla side, where NDA is situated,” Salunkhe told .

 However, the judges have allowed security precautions like metal detectors, frisking and certain parking restrictions.

 Last Monday, several petitioners, including Yogi Holiday Resorts, Shrushti Enterprises, Oasis Club, Garden Resorts and individual joggers, S. Pimpalkhare and S. Tama had moved the court in writ petitions.

 

The petitioners claimed that the NDA has illegally barricaded a public road leading to its sprawling campus, which was causing great inconvenience to the public at large.

 

Advocate Girish Kulkarni, who represented NDA, contended it was not in a position to relax the security norms.

 

A day later (Tuesday), the court sought replies from the central government, the NDA and Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) over the issue.

 

On its part, the NDA argued that these (security) measures were thrust upon it by the continued violation of existing rules by vested interests and the lack of will to resolve the long pending security related issues.

 

The NDA contended that in recent years, the unchecked proliferation of commercial ventures has started attracting large crowds on the NDA Road, posing a security threat to the institution spread across more than 8,000 acres and housing over 15,000 people, including staff and students.

 

The NDA has moved the top PMC authorities, and the Pune district collector and sought a meeting with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to resolve the matter.


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