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SC refuses to entertain plea against Central Vista project


Press Trust of India New Delhi
The Supreme Court Thursday refused to entertain a plea against the Centre's Central Vista project which covers a 3-km stretch, from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate, and includes construction of new parliament building.
A bench, comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justice Aniruddha Bose, did not agree to the submission that the project in Lutyens' Delhi needed to be stayed as the government bodies were to approach the authorities concerned for clearance and other formalities.
"Nobody is going to do anything" during the COVID-19 pandemic, said the bench.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said a new parliament building is being constructed and wondered as to why anybody should have objection to this.
"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. Prayer is allowed. Accordingly, the writ petition is dismissed as withdrawn with the liberty aforesaid," the apex court said in its order.
Another plea related to the project, filed by the same petitioner, is pending with the top court which refused to entertain the fresh plea.
The earlier plea was against the Delhi High Court order which had said that the DDA was not required to apprise it before notifying changes in the Master Plan to allow the Central Vista project.
Several new government buildings besides a new Parliament House are part of the project.
A division bench of the High Court on February 28 had stayed an order of its single judge bench which had asked the Delhi Development Authority to approach the court before notifying any change in the Master Plan for going forth with the Centre's ambitious project to redevelop the Central Vista.
The HC's stay order on the single judge bench's February 11 direction had come on the intra-court appeal of the DDA and the Centre.
The division bench of the High Court had also issued notice to the two individuals -- Rajeev Suri and Lt Col (retd) Anuj Srivastava -- on whose pleas the February 11 order was passed, and had listed the Centre and DDA's appeals for further hearing on May 6.
Suri and Srivastava, in their pleas before the single judge, have opposed the Central Vista project on the ground that it involves a change in land use of the green area adjoining Rajpath and Vijay Chowk for building a new Parliament and government offices.
They have contended that DDA does not have the power to bring about the proposed change in land use and master plan and only the central government can do so.
Gujarat-based architecture firm HCP Designs has won the consultancy bid for the Centre's ambitious project to redevelop the Central Vista.
The revamp, which was announced in September last year, envisages a new triangular Parliament building, with seating capacity for 900 to 1,200 MPs. It is targeted to be constructed by August, 2022 when the country will celebrate its 75th Independence Day. The common Central Secretariat is likely to be built by 2024.

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First Published: Apr 30 2020 | 7:15 PM IST

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