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PIL seeking to halt Central Vista project deserves to be dismissed: SG Mehta to Delhi HC

ANI | Updated: May 17, 2021 17:04 IST

New Delhi [India], May 17 (ANI): Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Monday submitted to the Delhi High Court that the plea seeking to halt construction activity for the Central Vista project deserves to be dismissed as it is only concerned with Central Vista and not about other ongoing constructions.
The Delhi High Court was hearing a plea seeking direction to halt/suspend all construction activity of the Central Vista Avenue Redevelopment Project in compliance with orders issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority over COVID-19.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Union of India opposed the plea seeking direction to stop the construction of the Central Vista project. He said that his arguments are based on facts and read out notification of April. He pointed out that the present petition is only concerned with Central Vista and not about other constructions.
Mehta argued that here, the public interest is "very selective" in particular regarding the Central Vista project matter. He said the petitioner is not concerned about other workmen and other construction works that are going on maybe 2-3 km away from there.
"There is something unusual, and beyond what is portrayed as public interest. This is a facade of PIL to disguise something they always wanted to stop under one pretext or the other," Mehta submitted.
After Mehta concluded his submission, Advocate Maninder Singh appearing for the Shapoorji Pallonji Group also opposed the PIL seeking suspension of construction activity for the Central Vista project.
Advocate Singh said the petition is not bonafide. He submitted that the petitioner's lawyer had cited some media reports during his arguments, which are not admissible under law.
Meanwhile, Advocate Sidharth Luthra sought court's direction to stop construction at the Central Vista site.
"Central Vistas should not be called as it is so, it shall now be called Central Fortress of death," Luthra said.
On May 7, the Supreme Court urged the Delhi High Court to consider the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by petitioner Anya Malhotra seeking a stay on construction work of the Central Vista project in New Delhi amid the prevailing condition of coronavirus cases across the country and asked High Court to issue orders related to the matter.
In December 2020, the Central Vista Development project was inaugurated by the Prime Minister. The Project intends to revamp 86 acres of land in Delhi, which includes Rajpath, Parliament House, Rashtrapati Bhavan, India Gate, North Block and South Block, Shastri Bhavan and Udyog Bhavan.
The project envisages the construction of a new Parliament building, a common secretariat for central government offices, the Prime Minister's office and residence, the Special Protection Group building and the Vice-President Enclave. The construction work for the project is being carried out since January 5, 2021, after the top court dismissed petitions challenging the project. (ANI)