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Central Vista is a project of national importance: Delhi HC junks plea to halt construction work

Central Vista is a project of national importance: Delhi HC junks plea to halt work

The Delhi HC on Monday dismisses a plea seeking halt of construction work at Central Vista project site, saying it was politically motivated stunt. While hearing this politically motivated petition, the court said that the project is of national importance. The court also imposed a fine of Rs1 lakh on petitioners citing lack of bona fide on their side.

A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh was hearing the PIL filed by Anya Malhotra, a translator by profession and Sohail Hashmi, a filmmakers and historian, seeking the halt of ongoing Central Vista project. The PIL said that the project is not at all essential and can be put on hold for now in the view of second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.

The court said that the legality of this project was already upheld by the Supreme Court of India

It said under the contract awarded to the Shapoorji Pallonji Group, work had to be completed by November 2021 and, therefore, it should to be allowed to continue.

The high court also said that as the workers are staying on site, no question of suspending the construction work arises.

“The whole Central Vista is an essential project of national importance where the sovereign functions of the Parliament will be conducted. The public is widely interested in this project,” the bench said.

Back on May 17, the Delhi HC had reserved its judgement on the joint plea. The HC adjourned the matter saying it wanted to study the Supreme Court’s judgement. The SC has already given a nod to central government to go ahead with the ambitious project of redevelopment of Central Vista on January 5.

The petitioners, Anya and Sohail said that the PIL was not politically driven, they were only interested in the safety in the safety of workers at construction site and the people living in that area.

In PIL, the petitioner counsel had compared the project to “Auschwitz”, a German concentration camp of WW2.

Countering the petition, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said, “one can criticize and be venomous about it but such terms should not be used in courtrooms.”

“Why the petitioners are not concerned with the health and safety of workers at other construction sites in the city”, asked Tushar Mehta. The public interest is very selective in this case, he added and urged the court to dismiss the plea.

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