No Stay for Now on Rs 20k Crore Central Vista Project: SC

The SC was hearing a petition challenging a notification issued by the Centre, proposing changes in land use.

2 min read
The Central Vista redevelopment project would cover the 3 km stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate in Lutyens’ Delhi.

The Supreme Court on Thursday, 30 April, reportedly declined to stay the ambitious Central Vista project that aims to redevelop key parts of central Delhi for now, and said that there was no pressing urgency to stay the project as the whole country was under lockdown due to COVID-19.

The apex court was hearing a petition challenging a notification issued by the centre on 20 March, proposing changes in land use for the project, Hindustan Times reported

“During COVID-19 nobody is going to do anything. There is no urgency...”, CJI Bobde reportedly remarked while hearing the matter on Thursday. Solicitor general Tushar Mehta arguing on behalf of the government in the case, reportedly said, “Parliament is being constructed. Why is there a problem?”

Rashtrapati Bhavan, Parliament, North Block, South Block, Vice-President's House and Central Secretariat –– all come under Central Vista. So do institutions like National Museum, National Archives, Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts or IGNCA, Udyog Bhawan, Bikaner House, Hyderabad House, Nirman Bhawan and Jawahar Bhawan.

The Bench led by Justice Bobde noted that another petition on the same issue had been filed by the petitioner in the high court, that had been transferred to the Supreme Court by an order dated 6 March.

“Mr Shikhil Suri, counsel appearing for the petitioner, prays for withdrawal of this petition with liberty to amend the writ petition which has been transferred to this court from the high court,” the court reportedly said.

Suri, and another petitioner Lt Colonel Anuj Srivastava, had first moved the Delhi High Court in February reportedly challenging a notification issued by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) last December about changes in land use for the redevelopment on the grounds that the power to make such changes rested with the central government only.

While the petitioners were initially granted interim relief by the Delhi High Court that ordered the DDA to approach the HC before notifying any changes in land use, a division bench of the high court stayed that order.

When this was appealed by Suri in the Supreme Court, it transferred the case to itself. It was following this that Suri filed a fresh plea in the apex court, challenging MHA’s 20 March notification.

(With inputs from Hindustan Times)

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