POINTERS ON ONGOING CASE – CENTRAL VISTA PROJECT:-
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION IN SC CHALLENGES DELHI HC’S VERDICT ON CENTRAL VISTA PROJECT
- A Special Leave Petition (SLP) has been filed before the Supreme Court today to challenge the Delhi High Court’s May 31 verdict, dismissing the plea against the ongoing construction activities of the Central Vista Redevelopment project and terming the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) as “illegal motive” to halt the construction work.
- The SLP filed by a lawyer Pradeep Kumar Yadav before the top court also challenged the imposition of Rs 1 lakh cost by the Delhi High Court bench on the petitioner, Anya Malhotra, in the case.
- The petitioner Yadav, in his SLP filed before the Supreme Court said that the Delhi High Court was not justified in holding that the PIL filed by the individual writ petitioner, Anya Malhotra, therein was motivated and not a genuine public cause by drawing “presumption and assumption in the absence of a proved material facts and evidence”.
- “The Delhi High Court has failed to appreciate that a bigger construction work with a huge number of innocent labourers/ workers allowed to continue their work during the peak COVID-19 pandemic period is a serious public health issue concern,” Yadav in his petition said.
- The petition said that Delhi High Court has failed to appreciate that the ongoing construction activities of the Central Vista Avenue Redevelopment project are essential activities during the peak COVID-19 pandemic and total lockdown period as stipulated in the DDMA order of April 2021.
- “The Delhi High Court was not justified in holding that the Central Vista Avenue Redevelopment project is essential activities during the peak COVID-19 pandemic crisis, especially when the whole country have stopped essential functioning during the lockdown period including the Courts as well as all High Courts,” Yadav added in the petition.
- Yadav further said that even Courts have stopped physical functioning but is working on the virtual mode in order to safeguard the innocent public, advocates, Judges and Court Staff and to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic and its infection, then why the construction of the Central Vista project should not be stopped, till resumption of the normal life of the general public.
- Yadav, in his SLP, questioned the Delhi High Court judgment and said if the whole country is affected in this pandemic, and “even small shops and other things have been stopped, then why more than 500 labourers are allowed in the construction site.”
- “What is the urgency in this Central Vista project?”‘ Yadav questioned in his petition.
- The Delhi High Court, in its May 31 judgement, had dismissed a plea seeking direction to suspend all construction activity of the Central Vista Avenue Redevelopment Project in view of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The Delhi High court had also imposed Rs 1 lakh cost on the petitioner and said it was a “motivated” plea and “not a PIL”.