Removing roadblocks in reaching electricity to every village, the Supreme Court has ruled that no prior consent of landowners was required to lay overhead power transmission lines and erect towers to support these lines.
Through the judgment, the SC settled the issue which gave rise to conflicting judgments from various HCs. The SC's top priority was to enable the government and its agencies to get electricity to the last household in the remotest areas.
A bench of Justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi said, "It is well known that India is an energy deficient country. There are many households where lighting even an electric bulb is a dream."
The issue was filed by a cement manufacturer from Chhattisgarh and Power Grid Corporation. The cement manufacturer challenged Power Grid's decision to erect towers for transmission lines on its limestone mine lease area without its consent. The bench said, "As per the provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act, unobstructed access to lay down telegraph and/or electricity transmission lines is an imperative in the larger public interest."