Today, the Supreme Court in the case Central Vista Project, proposed by the government observed that authorities cannot be stopped from acting as per the law (Rajeev Suri v. DDA).
The Centre assured the Courtthat there was no breach in the process for granting clearances for the project. Submissions were made through Solicitor General Tushar Mehta
The matter was taken by the Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv through Video conferencing, today
The Centre’s notification regarding the Rs 20,000 crore Central vista project was challenged by Rajeev Suri through a petition.
The Bench was told by the petitioner’s counsel that permissions and clearances were being granted by the concerned authorities despite the matter pending before the Court and submitted,”The authorities are giving approvals for construction despite pending applications. The environmental clearance committee has passed an order. Solicitor General Mehta must assure no further action or step will be taken.”
A direction from the Court to the authorities to not undertake any work on the project, even if the paper work was proceeded with was also sought by the petitioner. However, the Court, observed that it the authorities cannot be stopped from going on with the work in accordance with law.
Mehta assured that the Centre’s action will be as per the Court’s orders and no assurance for work on the ground could be taken.The petitioner will file a rejoinder on the Centre’s reply.
All other proceedings ought to be heard together, clarified the Court.
“We make it clear that any other proceeding regarding the project in question will be considered consolidated.”Supreme Court
The matter would be heard on July 7 next.
Advocate Shikhil Suri representedpetitioner Rajeev Suriwhile Senior Counsel Sanjay Hegde appeared for an intervening applicant.Solicitor General Tushar Mehta represented the Centre.
The change in land use for the revamp of the Rs 20,000 crore Central Vista project was notified in March 2020 and the notification pertained to 86 acres of land with houses structures like the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Parliament House, among others in Central Delhi.
The change in landusenotificationcame when matter of the redevelopment plan itself was pending before the Supreme Court and same was transferred to SC.
The Bench led by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde observed that a plea challenging the redevelopment plan was pending before the High Court and hence plea was dismissed in April 2020. As nobody would do anything during the COVID-19 pandemic, the court has refused to stay the project.