Court orders govt to fix road


The National Court has ordered the government to immediately allocate sufficient funding to fix the road leading to Baisu jail in Western Highlands.
This follows a decision given by Judge Vergil Narokobi who presided over a case in the National Court on May 13.
“From the evidence tendered, the Baisu road serves as an important network for the delivery of government services.
“There is simply no evidence before me, showing whether the relevant governments have inadequate resources in terms of their budgetary allocation, what priorities they have, policy framework in the law and justice sector and any long-term plans they have for the development of the province and the district,”.
“It is necessary that they do. It is also necessary that it is publicly available,” Judge Narokobi said.
According to court documents, Regina Rumints, a correctional service (CS) officer attached to Baisu Correctional Services Institution filed proceedings under section 57 of the Constitution to enforce her human rights.
Regina named Western Highlands Governor Paias Wingti, Western Highlands provincial administrator Joseph Neng, Hagen MP William Duma, Enga Governor Sir Peter Ipatas, Works Minister Michael Nali, the Mt Hagen provincial works manager and the State as defendants in the case.
Judge Narokobi after hearing submissions from parties said one of the most basic foundations to live in freedom was the availability of adequate roads. He said if there were no roads or poor roads, other rights would be impaired.
“Freedoms human beings enjoy in Papua New Guinea are guaranteed by section 32 of the Constitution and are entitled to be protected by law under section 37(1) of the Constitution, right to full protection of the law,” Judge Narokobi said.
“To the extent that freedoms are not being protected, they are being infringed.
“The rights of the users of the road connecting Baisu Correctional Institute and the Highlands Highway of Western Highlands to section 32(2), 37(1), 41(1) of the Constitution have been and continues to be violated by the very bad, and deteriorating state of the road.”
He said Sections 22 and 57(3) of the Constitution empowered the National Court to order the executive and legislative branches of government to provide adequate funding for basic services to the citizens.