March 11, 2012

Courts can't pass general directions to govt: Supreme Court

New Delhi: Courts cannot pass general directions to states and Union Territories, however well-intended they may be, particularly when it involves huge financial expenditure and inconvenience to the government, the Supreme Court has ruled.

The apex court gave the ruling while upholding an appeal by the Kerala government challenging the state high court's fiat for construction of large number of bus bays and acquisition of land all over the state for setting up special roadside parking zones to prevent recurrent accidents.

"Such general directions of wide ramifications ought not to have been given in such proceeding... The facts which are relevant and germane for issuance of such directions were not before the court," said a bench of justices R M Lodha and H L Gokhale, in a judgement.

The Kerala government had appealed in the apex court challenging the high court's September 17, 2008 order, directing it "to provide sufficient parking space for vehicles on road side, if required, by acquiring land, which should also be done within a time frame, even though we do not fix any specific time for this."

The directions were passed while dealing with the compensation claim of the family of one P C Krishnakumar, a motorcycle pillion rider, who died after his bike rammed into a truck allegedly parked on roadside without sufficient indicators at Puthusserichellakkadu, on the Coimbatore-Palakkadu National Highway.