Police best judge to decide regulation of traffic movement: Delhi HC

Traffic authorities are the best judge to decide the issue of regulation of traffic in the city, the Delhi High Court said, dismissing a plea seeking a direction to the police to remove blockades on the Mathura Road crossing.

The high court also took judicial notice of a substantial increase in road traffic in the city over the last few years and the number of cars parked on the roads in front of the court premises and in the lanes alongside, causing traffic congestion.

“Traffic control is the sole domain of the traffic police. It is well settled that courts do not run the country and it is up to the administration to take decisions for smooth functioning of the government,” a bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said in a judgement passed on Monday.

The judgement was made public on Tuesday.

The bench dismissed the public interest litigation (PIL) which sought to direct the authorities, including the Delhi government and the Delhi Traffic Police, to remove blockades erected at the Mathura Road crossing to disallow a right turn while coming from the additional building of the Supreme Court to either the apex court’s main building or the Delhi High Court.

“The traffic authorities are the best judges to decide the issue of regulation of traffic in the city and this court, while exercising its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, is not inclined to sit over as an appellate authority over the decisions taken by the traffic authorities for regulating the movement of traffic in the city. In view of the above, this court is not inclined to entertain the instant PIL. Resultantly, the PIL is dismissed,” the court said.

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The Delhi government’s standing counsel Santosh Kumar Tripathi and lawyer Arun Panwar submitted that for the first time, the stretch has become signal and congestion-free and it is a permanent arrangement now.

Petitioner Mamta Rani, a lawyer, said due to barricades at all the crossings on Mathura Road, the distance of about 300 to 400 metres between the additional building of the Supreme Court and the main building of the high court has become more than 5 kilometers which is not only time-consuming but also leads to wastage of fuel.

The plea submitted that the decision of the Delhi Traffic Police to restrict the movement of vehicles by putting barricades at the crossing for an indefinite period of time is arbitrary and unjust, and causes hurdles in the administration of justice.

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