Supreme Court Declines To Intervene In Central Vista Case
The Supreme Court of India on Friday declined to interfere with the plea seeking suspension of work on the Central Vista project.
The apex court, however, permitted the petitioner Anya Malhotra to approach the Delhi High Court to seek an early hearing of the case. The high court has not yet issued a notice on the plea and has posted the case for consideration on May 17.
Arguing for the petitioner, Senior Advocate Sidharth Luthra told the top court that Delhi is likely to see Covid-19 cases peak by mid-May. And that there will be little utility in hearing the case on May 17. It’s unclear, Luthra argued, as to how construction of the project can be classified as an essential activity.
‘’When we have a health emergency we cannot endanger the lives of workers and their families and add more pressure on healthcare systems,’’ Luthra said.
Luthra clarified that their petition was not concerned with the construction of the new parliament project but was limited to a part of it. ‘We are only concerned with the 3.5-4 km stretch. We are not concerned with the parliament construction," he added.
The bench of Justices Vineet Saran and Dinesh Maheshwari told the petitioner that it was not inclined to go into the merits of the case as the issue was being considered by the high court. The bench passed an order requesting the high court to consider the petitioner’s request of an early hearing.
The central vista project is being carried out in the national capital and includes the construction of a new parliament, a new residence for the prime minister, the vice president as well as a revamp of the Rajpath.
The top court had earlier granted a go-ahead for the project on fulfillment of certain conditions. In this case, the petitioner says that they are only limiting their request to a suspension of the construction since Covid-19 cases in Delhi are rising.