SC refuses to entertain petition to suspend Central Vista work

By: |
May 08, 2021 12:15 AM

“We hope and trust that high court shall consider the prayer for early hearing,” it said. The HC is scheduled to take up the case on May 17.

The Centre objected to the request for suspension of construction on a 3.5-km stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.The Centre objected to the request for suspension of construction on a 3.5-km stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a petition seeking the suspension of the ongoing construction work on the Central Vista redevelopment project due to the rise in Covid-19 cases in Delhi, but requested the Delhi High Court to consider hearing the issue urgently.

Terming the Covid-19 situation “very serious,” a bench comprising justices Vineet Saran and Dinesh Maheshwari asked the petitioners, Anya Malhotra and Sohail Hashmi, to request the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court for an early hearing as the case is pending before the HC.

“We hope and trust that high court shall consider the prayer for early hearing,” it said. The HC is scheduled to take up the case on May 17.

The Centre objected to the request for suspension of construction on a 3.5-km stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate.

Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, appearing for the petitioners, said they were not challenging the project at all, but argued that Covid-19 will peak in May and there has been a 30% increase in cases from April. The public health emergency had prompted them to seek a temporary suspension of the work as the construction will be a super-spreader, the petition said.

The Supreme Court in January cleared the proposed project. 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 government plans to conserve the existing Parliament building as an archaeological asset. The construction is expected to be completed by 2022 at an estimated cost of around Rs 1,000 crore.

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