The Supreme Court on Tuesday, 29 June, dismissed pleas challenging the Delhi High Court judgment that rejected a PIL, seeking the temporary cessation of the Central Vista development work during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Supreme Court, affirming the high court's position, said that the petitioners had singled out one project, and had not properly researched the impact of other such public projects, as per a LiveLaw report.
"The high court's view is a possible view. You challenged one project selectively," the apex court said, as reported by LiveLaw.
A bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Aniruddha Bose further noted that the petitioners – Pradeep Kumar Yadav, and Anya Malhotra and others – had chosen to pursue the plea despite the project contractor confirming the workers' adherence to COVID safety protocol.
The bench has imposed a fine of Rs 1 Lakh on the petitioners, saying that their plea was not a 'genuine public interest litigation' but had a different underlying motivation.
The Plea Submitted in Delhi HC
The Delhi High Court on 31 May had refused to halt the ongoing construction work for the Central Vista Projects. The Bench headed by Chief Justice DN Patel dismissed the plea asking the court to stop the Central Vista construction work, citing a surge in the COVID-19 cases in the national Capital.
Anya Malhotra and Sohail Hashmi, the petitioners in the case, had sought a stay on the construction of Central Vista due to the COVID-19 situation in the Delhi and the threat of the site becoming a potential super spreader due to the construction work.
The court had dismissed the plea moved by Anya Malhotra on the ground that the Central Vista project is of “public importance” and therefore its construction cannot be seen in isolation.
The court deemed the development work underways as being of “vital importance.”
The court further said that petition is not a genuine public interest litigation but a "motivated" one and proceeded to impose a cost of Rs 1 lakh on the petitioners.
(With inputs from Live Law)