A bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud of the Supreme Court said that the question is worth considering as to how much a Constitutional Court can interfere in matters affecting the security of the country on the basis of environmental issues. The Supreme Court has asked whether the Constitutional Court should come in the way of developing strategic infrastructure as per the requirement of the Army. The above comment was made during the hearing in the Supreme Court in the matter related to the widening of roads near the India China border under the Char Dham project. The Supreme Court said these things while pointing to the recent India China border dispute.
The Supreme Court said that the question is whether we can say that the environment should be given more priority than the security of the country? The central government in its reply has cited national security as the reason for the widening of the road project. We cannot deny that national security at high altitude is at stake. The Supreme Court said that this is a difficult position for the court because the court has been told by the central government that the issue is related to national security.
Justice Chandrachud said that if all this was happening for tourism, then we could have made a tough bet in this matter. But when the matter is related to national security and the matter is related to the defense of the border, then it can be a difficult and serious situation for us also. An application was filed in the Supreme Court on behalf of an NGO appealing against the stage one and wildlife clearance for widening the road. The petition said that due to this project a large number of trees will be felled and there will be huge damage to the environment.
In the Supreme Court, the Center said that the benefit of this project is also in view of security. It has been said that there will be convenience in the deployment of Armed Forces on the Indo-China border and in the movement of vehicles. Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing for the central government, said that there is a need for roads of a certain limit width in the transportation of army members and goods. It is also necessary for the movement of the army. The Union Ministry of Road Transport had sought approval of the majority opinion of the High Power Committee which favored a road width of 10 meters for the Char Dham project.
The Union Ministry of Road Transport has endorsed the recommendation of the High Power Committee to support a 10 meter road width for the Char Dham project. The Center said that 21 out of 26 members of the court-appointed committee have agreed to widen the road in view of the arrival of the army on the Indo-China border.
The Defense Ministry had said that in view of the current situation on the India-China border, the existing width of the road should be increased from 5.5 meters to 7 meters. Central Government Attorney General KK Venugopal had said that the road needs to be widened by seven metres. Along with this, there is a need for construction like one and a half meter footpath on the side of the roads. This road is going to the border of China and in this case it is a matter of national importance.