The Centre’s ambitious Central Vista Project, covering a 3-km stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate in Lutyens’ Delhi, got the green signal on Tuesday from the Supreme Court which found “no infirmity” in grant of environment clearance and other permissions.
The top court said it cannot “jump to put a full stop on execution of policy matters” and the courts cannot be called upon to “govern”.
The Central Vista revamp, announced in September, 2019 envisages a new triangular Parliament building, with a seating capacity for 900 to 1,200 MPs, that is to be constructed by August, 2022 when the country will be celebrating its 75th Independence Day.
The common Central Secretariat is likely to be built by 2024 under the project.
A three-judge bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar, by 2:1 majority, held that the grant of environmental clearance and the notification for change in land use for construction of new Parliament building under the project was valid.
“We hold that there is no infirmity in the grant of: (a) ‘No Objection’ by the Central Vista Committee (CVC)….‘Approval’ by the Delhi Urban Art Commission and (c) ‘Prior approval’ by the Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC) under clause 1.12 of the Building Byelaws for Delhi, 2016,” said Justice Khanwilkar, writing the judgement for himself and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari.
Justice Sanjiv Khanna, the third judge on the bench, wrote a dissenting 179-page judgement.
It was on aspects relating to public participation in the decision-making process and on alleged failure on the part of the authorities in taking prior approval of the HCC for the project.