SC refuses to interfere with HC ruling allowing Central Vista construction

SC refuses to interfere with HC ruling allowing Central Vista construction

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Stating that its construction of redevelopment project is of “vital importance and essential,” the judges said that it cannot be seen in isolation as that clearance to the project has already been upheld by the Supreme Court.Stating that its construction of redevelopment project is of “vital importance and essential,” the judges said that it cannot be seen in isolation as that clearance to the project has already been upheld by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to interfere with the Delhi high court decision that allowed construction work at the ambitious Central Vista Avenue in the National Capital to continue. The HC, on May 31, had refused to halt the construction work, saying the work on the project of national importance has to be completed within time-bound schedule by November.

The SC Bench, led by Justice AM Khanwilkar, while dismissing an appeal against the HC order said that the HC was right in concluding that the petitioners were selective in choosing the Central Vista project alone and did not research about such similar public projects where construction was ongoing.

“The HC’s view is a possible view. You challenged one project selectively,” the apex court said.
The PIL before the HC was filed by Anya Malhotra, a translator and Sohail Hashmi, a historian and documentary filmmaker seeking suspension of work on the redevelopment of the Central Vista Avenue which includes both sides of Rajpath.

Imposing a cost of Rs 1 lakh on petitioners, the HC had termed the petition as “motivated” and “not a genuine PIL.
Refusing to suspend work at the redevelopment project amid the pandemic, the HC said that “once the workers are staying at the site and all facilities have been provided by respondent 4 (Shapoorji Pallonji and Co)…, Covid-19 protocols are adhered to and Covid-19 appropriate behaviour is being followed, there is no reason…to stop the project,” the judgment held, adding that the construction activity of this essential project or of a project of national importance cannot be stopped especially when the conditions imposed by the by Delhi Disaster Management Authority on April 19 are not flouted or violated.

Stating that its construction of redevelopment project is of “vital importance and essential,” the judges said that it cannot be seen in isolation as that clearance to the project has already been upheld by the Supreme Court.

While the Supreme Court in January gave nod to the proposed project, the revamp, which was announced in September last year, envisages a new triangular Parliament building, with a seating capacity for 900 to 1,200 MPs, that is targeted to be constructed by August 2022 when the country will be celebrating its 75th Independence Day. The government plans to conserve the existing Parliament building, claiming it to be an archaeological asset of the country. The construction is expected to be completed by 2022 at an estimated cost of around Rs 1,000 crore.

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