Chennai: The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the Centre to go ahead with the acquisition of land for the Rs 10,000-crore Chennai-Salem National Highway project, Bar and Bench reported.
The court also said that the government was “fully competent” to notify “any land (not necessarily an existing road/highway) for acquisition”, with the purpose of building a highway, according to The Indian Express.
The Supreme Court’s order was based on a petition filed by the Centre and the National Highway Authority of India against the Madras High Court’s judgement from 2019. The High Court had said that the notifications were “illegal and bad in law”, PTI reported.
A bench comprising Justices BR Gavai, AM Khanwilkar and Krishna Murari observed that there was no provision in the Constitution to restrict the Parliament from making a law for “declaring any stretch/section within the State not being a road or an existing highway, to be a national highway.”
The bench said that the Centre was free to build new national highways, but it had to keep its obligation of promoting the welfare of the people and creating new opportunities. “The availability of a highway in any part of the state paves way for sustainable development and for overall enhancement of human well-being,” the court said.