Loading...

Naveen. M.V. vs Union Of India on 2 June, 2010

Kerala High Court
Naveen. M.V. vs Union Of India on 2 June, 2010
       

  

  

 
 
  IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM

WP(C).No. 7050 of 2006(S)


1. NAVEEN. M.V., S/O. VISWAMBHARAN,
                      ...  Petitioner

                        Vs



1. UNION OF INDIA, REPRESENTED BY
                       ...       Respondent

2. THE STATE OF KERALA REPRESENTED

3. ROADS AND BRIDGES DEVELOPMENT

                For Petitioner  :SRI.JOBY JACOB PULICKEKUDY

                For Respondent  :SRI.KURIAN GEORGE KANNANTHANAM,SC,RBDCK

The Hon'ble MR. Justice C.N.RAMACHANDRAN NAIR
The Hon'ble MR. Justice P.S.GOPINATHAN

 Dated :02/06/2010

 O R D E R
        C.N.RAMACHANDRAN NAIR & P.S.GOPINATHAN, JJ.
                            ---------------------------
                       W.P.(C) No. 7050 OF 2006
                             --------------------------
                 Dated this the 2nd day of June, 2010

                              J U D G M E N T

Ramachandran Nair, J.

This is a public interest litigation filed by a local citizen

challenging the continued collection of toll (users fee) for an over

bridge constructed by the Roads and Bridges Development

Corporation of Kerala (hereinafter referred to as the RBDCK) over

the national highway 49 at S.N.Junction at Tripunithura.

2. We have heard the learned counsel appearing for the

petitioner, the learned Advocate General appearing for the State

Government, the learned standing counsel appearing for the

RBDCK and the additional standing counsel appearing for the

Central Government Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and

the counsel appearing for the previous contractor. The above

bridge was constructed in the year 2004 by RBDCK and they

started collection of toll from 2005 onwards. In fact it is the admitted

position that the bridge is constructed by the RBDCK without any

clearance from the Central Government Ministry of Road Transport

and Highways. The portion of the national highway 49 over which

W.P.(C).No.7050/2006
2

this bridge is constructed happens to be part of the Seaport-Airport

road constructed and maintained by the RBDCK, which is under the

control of the Government of Kerala. Besides this bridge, there is

another railway over bridge constructed by the RBDCK at Irumpanam

in the Seaport-Airport road. The toll collection for both these bridges

and also for the Chithrapuzha bridge over the river which is in the

Seaport-Airport road and which is fairly an old one started in 2005

and the total toll collection as of now is something above Rs.12

crores. The cost of construction of the old Chitrapuzha bridge is not

on record. However, it is stated that the cost of construction of the

bridge at S.N.Junction is around 5.10 crores whereas the cost of

construction of the bridge at Irumpanan in the Seaport-Airport road is

around Rs.5.82 crores. The learned Advocate General contended

that on account of interest, the cost of the bridge constructed at

S.N.Junction has gone up to Rs.7 crores and above. The

communication between the State Government and the Central

Government is produced by the learned Advocate General before us

which clearly establish that the construction of the over bridge at

S.N.Junction was unnecessarily taken up by the RBDCK because it

W.P.(C).No.7050/2006
3

was the duty of the national highway authority to construct the over

bridge. It is the contention of the petitioner that substantial portion of

the cost of the over bridge is recovered by the RBDCK from Southern

Railways. The further allegation is that even Cochin Refineries was

made to share part of cost of construction. Even though the learned

Advocate General has denied receipt of funds from Railways and

Cochin Refineries, we do not think we should enquire into these

matters because the further toll collection for the bridge in NH 49

cannot be permitted for the simple reason that its cost is fully

recovered as the toll collection as of now is above Rs.12 crores for

the two bridges. Further no toll can be collected under the Kerala

Road Fund Act for the bridge on the national highway which itself

ought to have been constructed by the national highway authority

under whose norms, toll can be collected only for bridges costing

above Rs.5 crores. Apart from these, the collection of toll under

Section 7 of the National Highway Act authorises collection up to the

cost of the bridge or road, as the case may be. Irrespective of

whether the collection of tolls so far by the RBDCK is correct or not,

we do not think they are entitled to collect toll any more for the bridge

W.P.(C).No.7050/2006
4

in S.N.Junction, the cost of which is fully recovered.

Since the bridge is on the national highway, we allow the writ

petition by directing respondents not to proceed with auction of the

right to collect toll for the current year or for any subsequent years.

Respondents are accordingly prohibited from collecting toll for the

railway over bridge at S.N.Junction in Tripunithura. However

respondents are free to arrange for collection of toll for Seaport-

Airport road or on the bridge at Irumpanam in accordance with the

norms.

C.N.RAMACHANDRAN NAIR
(JUDGE )

P.S.GOPINATHAN
(JUDGE )
vps

W.P.(C).No.7050/2006
5

W.P.(C).No.7050/2006
6

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. More Information