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Delhi HC verdict dismissing plea to halt Central Vista work during COVID challenged in Supreme Court

The main Cental Vista project envisages building a new Parliament House, a new residential complex to house offices and the prime minister and the vice president.

Published: 02nd June 2021 06:28 PM  |   Last Updated: 02nd June 2021 06:28 PM   |  A+A-

Construction work underway as part of the Central Vista Redevelopment Project, at Rajpath in New Delhi

Construction work underway as part of the Central Vista Redevelopment Project, at Rajpath in New Delhi. (File photo| PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: A plea was Wednesday filed in the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court's May 31 verdict which dismissed a petition seeking to suspend all construction activity of the Central Vista Avenue redevelopment during the COVID-19 pandemic while describing it as a "vital" and "essential" project of national importance.

The project entails construction activities on Rajpath and the surrounding lawns from the India Gate to the Rashtrapati Bhawan here.

The main Cental Vista project envisages building a new Parliament House, a new residential complex to house offices and the prime minister and the vice president.

It will also have new office buildings and a Central Secretariat to accommodate various ministries 'offices.

The high court had dismissed the plea saying it was "motivated" and filed with "ill-intent" and "lack of bona fides".

ALSO READ | Central Vista: Puri hits out at opposition, former bureaucrats, says false narrative being created

The high court had also imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh on the petitioners who wanted the work to be halted in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, observing that it was "not a genuine public interest litigation".

Advocate Pradeep Kumar Yadav Wednesday filed the petition in the apex court challenging the high court verdict.

Yadav, who was not a party to the proceedings before the high court in the matter, has claimed that high court was "not justified" in holding that the plea was motivated and not a genuine public cause "by drawing presumption and assumption in the absence of proved material facts and evidence".

It alleged that the high court failed to appreciate that allowing a big construction work with large number of labourers and workers to continue during the pandemic period is a "serious public health issue" concern.

It said the high court was not justified in holding that the construction activities for the project is "essential activities, especially when the entire activities of service sector, industrial sector and the activities of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) are fully suspended during the peak pandemic lockdown period".

In its verdict, the high court had said, "The present petition has been filed to stop with immediate effect the work of the redevelopment of Central Vista Avenue.

This work is part and parcel of Central Vista project and of vital public importance.

The construction of Central Vista Avenue redevelopment project cannot be seen in isolation.

"In fact, the whole Central Vista project is an essential project of national importance, where the sovereign functions of Parliament are also to be conducted. Public is vitally interested in this project," it had said.

The high court had said that legality of the project was already upheld by the Supreme Court and even the Delhi Disaster Management Authority allowed it to continue.

It had also said that from the affidavits filed by the Centre and the contractor -- Shapoorji Pallonji and Company Pvt Ltd (SPCPL) -- it was "clearly evident" that several facilities, like accommodation, medical facilities and COVID care centre, have been provided to the workers at the site.



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  • NATARAJAN VAITHEESWARAN

    So many projects running into 1000s of crores of rupees planned by Private Sector or Public Sector have not been shelved because people are suffering from COVID. Adequate precautions are taken to abide by COVID protocols. Are' not many livelihoods being protected? The present project under dispute are being undertaken by highly reputed and respected contractors. Why so much hostility against a project of National importance?
    20 days ago reply
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