SC refuses to stay Central Vista project, says no urgency as COVID-19 pandemic is on
A stay on the project was urged on the ground that activities such as demolishing of buildings, cutting of trees, and excavation of land might be irreversible at a later date
The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay the Central Vista redevelopment project undertaken by the Government of India, observing that nobody would do anything during the COVID-19 lockdown, reports legal news website BarandBench.com.
The Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde was hearing a petition by Rajeev Suri, seeking to quash the Central government's March 20 notification notifying a change in land use.
During the course of the hearing, the CJI Bobde remarked, "During COVID-19 nobody is going to do anything. There is no urgency..."
The court further noted that a similar petition was pending and "duplicate pleas should be avoided". It accordingly directed the petitioner to amend the plea.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta added,"Parliament is being constructed. Why is there a problem?"
On March 20, the Centre had notified the change in land use for the Rs 20,000 Crore Central Vista redevelopment project. This notification pertained to 86 acres of land in Central Delhi that houses structures like Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Parliament House, among others.
The notification by the Centre for a change in land use came at a time when the challenge to the redevelopment plan itself was pending before the Supreme Court.
It is the petitioner's case that the notification is a "brash" move and will deprive the citizens, and particularly the residents of Delhi, of their rights under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
This new notification, the petitioner asserts, is in contravention of the Master Plan 2021. The Master Plan of Delhi 2021 (MPD 2021) seeks to decentralize government offices in the NCR region, whereby no new Central government or Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) offices would be located in NCT of Delhi, as provided in Chapter 8 of the Plan, the report published by BarandBench.com said.
A stay on the project was urged on the ground that activities such as demolishing of buildings, cutting of trees, and excavation of land that might be irreversible at a later date.