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The International Bench and Bar Association has filed a PIL in the Supreme Court seeking judicial guidelines for entertaining pleas against projects of national importance costing over Rs 100 crore. Association head Ravi Prakash Gupta submitted that execution of these projects was being delayed deliberately by vested interests, including those from abroad, through pleas filed on the pretext of highlighting environmental concerns. "The judiciary is saddled with unfounded fears based on unproven materials and media hype. Judicial indulgence in such matters leads to protracted litigations serving the purpose of vested interests," the petition said. The petition said such PILs resulted in escalation of project cost and cited the case of the Narmada dam, Tehri dam and the Taj Corridor projects which were allegedly delayed due to litigation. The opposition to the projects is voiced in courts close to their completion, the petition added. All projects costing over Rs 100 crore should start only after inviting objections from environmentalists and others. Once the concerns have been addressed, courts should not entertain pleas challenging the project later, the petition said. The petition urged the apex court to call for all cases relating to projects costing over Rs 100 pending in various High Courts for early disposal. The International Bench and Bar Association which has filed the petition has sitting judges, including Chief Justices, legal experts, lawyers and former judges from the country and various foreign countries among its members.
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