The Madras High Court stated that a public project would not be stopped due to objections posed on a communal basis and would set an inappropriate example while ordering the completion of a bridge along the Thattankulam Kanmai river (M Muthupandi v. The District Collector, Madurai District, and ors).
While hearing a PIL requesting the completion of the project that was launched in 2019, the Bench of Justices MM Sundresh and S Ananthi held the same one. The Court was told that owing to concerns raised by a section of individuals belonging to a certain culture, the project was not being carried forward.
The Court has now ordered the State authorities to start the project at the earliest, probably in 4 months, observing that the construction has been stopped because of baseless objections and ‘that, too, on the communal basis as against necessity’.
The Court noted that “A benefit cannot be refused on the claim that it is being objected by persons belonging to any other community. The project has been proposed and Madras High Court held that any public project can’t be stopped on the basis of communal grounds to accommodate the interests of the public at large.
Stopping up the work in consideration of the issues raised on the communal ground will never be acknowledged and it would be an inappropriate example.”The Court held that if there are any barriers to the completion of work, in view of the observation that “no one’s rights has been related to the proposed project.” the authorities should use police force to continue the work.