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Petitioner or even Respondents do not have any legal right to undertake the execution of the work in violation of the consent/NOC granted in their favour: High Court of J&K and Ladakh

The agency in the vicinity of the road cannot undertake work without consent of the officials and against the conditions of the consent given by said officials. Thus, petitioner or for that matter respondents, to whom the contract of laying OFC has been awarded, do not have any legal right to undertake the execution of the work in violation of the consent/NOC as held by the Hon’ble High Court of J&K through a learned bench of Justice Sanjay Dhar in the case of Ashiq Hussain & Co. Vs Ut Of J&K & Others [WP(C) No.1836/2021 CM No.6129/2021].

According to the petitioner, respondents had allotted a contract to the petitioner for execution of work of installation and laying of OFC etc. It is averred that pursuant to the aforesaid allotment of work, the petitioner has started execution of contract work and has completed almost 70% of the work. It is further averred that at the time when the work was allotted to the petitioner, the road had not been widened but after the completed 70% of work, the respondents started widening of the aforesaid road and they also started macadamizing the same, as a result of which, the alignment of the work which was executed by the petitioner fell in the middle of the widened road.

Respondents No.1 and 2 have contested the writ petition by filing a reply thereto. In their reply, said respondents have raised a preliminary objection with regard to maintainability of the writ petition on the ground that the work of laying OFC has been allotted to respondents No.3 and 4 and not to the petitioner, as such, he has no locus or cause of action against the official respondents.

The Hon’ble High Court observed that Petitioner was aggrieved of impugned communication dated 07.09.2021 issued by respondent No.2 on two counts. One that he has been asked to stop the work of laying OFC till macadamization work on the road is complete. As per the said communication, the macadamization would be complete within a month and till ten days thereafter, laying of OFC should not be undertaken. The other condition contained in the said letter of which the petitioner is aggrieved, is that manual trenching should be undertaken on the extreme edge of the road strictly in consultation with the Field Engineers of the department.

It was further observed by the court that permission for digging of road for the purposes of laying of OFC was given to the vendor only on the condition that such digging work is carried out towards the edge of the road and not in the middle of the road. Thus, it was stated that “The road which is property of the official respondents can be dug or any other activity can be undertaken in the vicinity of the road only with the permission of the department and not otherwise. Any such permission will be contingent upon and subject to the conditions as may be imposed by the department. The agency laying cables or any other infrastructure in the vicinity of the road cannot undertake such work without consent of the official respondents and against the conditions of the consent given by said respondents. Thus, petitioner or for that matter respondents No.3 and 4, to whom the contract of laying OFC has been awarded, do not have any legal right to undertake the execution of the work in violation of the consent/NOC granted in their favour.”

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Judgment Reviewed by – Aryan Bajaj

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