The Delhi High Court on May 31(Monday) in the case – Anya Malhotra v. Union of India allowed construction work for the Central Vista Project in the national capital.
The divisional bench of the Delhi High Court comprising of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh dismissed the plea and passed a judgment that the work on the project which is ongoing is of vital importance and cannot be put on hold.
The Court said that the Supreme Court has already approved the project and the Delhi Disaster Management Authority also gave a green light for the continuation of the work.
The court further stated that workers were already present at the site and they have also started the work. All the facilities had been provided to them and they were complying with the Covid protocols. So, the court has no reason to exercise its power under Article 226 of the Constitution and impose writs to stop the work of the project which is of national importance.
The bench dismissed the plea and observed that petition is “not a genuine public interest litigation” (PIL) but was “motivated.” So, the court imposed the cost or fine of Rupees 1 Lakh on the petitioners.The court said that the work had to be completed by November 2021which is awarded to “Shapooji Pallonji Group” and till that no one should stop the work and should be allowed to continue.
In the following case the petition was moved to the Delhi High Court by Anya Malhotra, a translator and Sohani Hashmi, a historian and documentary filmmaker. They requested for the stoppage of the construction work of Central Vista Project during the Covid- 19 pandemic and also contended in their PIL that this project was not an essential and can be put on hold, as the life and health of the workers are of paramount importance.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta representing the Central Government countered the argument presented by the petitioners and assured the Court that the proper measures have been taken for the health of workers and the project is in accordance with laws and Covid protocols. The Central Government also in support of themselves filed an affidavit in the High Court claiming that the proper facilities have been provided for the workers like testing, medical aids and isolation.
The Central government further stated that the construction work which is going on around the Rajpath and India Gate doesn’t join the new parliament building and the new offices for the Central Government.
The redevelopments project in the Central Vista Project includes the new Parliament House, residential complex for Prime Minister and the Vice–President as well as the several new office buildings and ministry offices.
A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court on January 5 gave a green signal to the project and then the Delhi High Court also held that project should be continued.