SC dismisses plea seeking stay on Central Vista project construction
New Delhi, May 7 (UNI) The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea seeking a stay on the construction work underway for the Central Vista project in New Delhi as the matter is pending with the Delhi High Court. A Bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Dinesh Maheshwari, however, granted liberty to petitioners to approach before the Delhi High Court for early hearing.
“We hope and trust that the High Court shall consider the request of early hearing and pass an order”, the bench said. Senior counsel Siddharth Luthra, appearing for petitioners pointed out the humanitarian health crisis at present.
“If this project is deferred by 4 to 6 weeks nothing will happen. We suspended IPL. We have a situation where the spread of COVID is unprecedented,” he argued. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, on behalf of the Centre, opposed the plea and argued that it will set a very wrong precedent to entertain a special leave petition against an order of adjournment. Petitioners Anya Malhotra and Sohail Hashmi knocked on the doors of the top court after the Delhi High Court refused to put a stay on the Central Vista redevelopment project and adjourned the matter to May 17.
The plea contended that the construction of the project has a “super spreading potential and threat” to the workers who are being exposed to the infection daily while working and that too without payment.
The construction work for the Rs 20,000 crore project in the heart of the capital’s power corridors has been brought under the ambit of “essential services”, a move that has angered the opposition.
The opposition and activists have hit out hard at the government for continuing with work on the project in the middle of the pandemic.
The plan also recently received an environmental clearance which paves way for a new home for the Prime Minister to be built by December 2022.