SC permits submitting of plea in opposition to environmental clearance to Central Vista venture

New Delhi, July 29

The Supreme Court Wednesday allowed submitting of a recent plea difficult the June 17 environmental clearance (EC) granted to the bold Central Vista venture, protecting 3-km stretch from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate in Lutyens’ Delhi, for establishing a brand new Parliament House and different authorities buildings. 

A bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheswari and Sanjiv Khanna allowed senior advocate Shyam Divan to file inside per week a recent plea difficult the EC by the ‘Central Vista Committee’ to the venture.

The central authorities will reply to the petition per week after it’s filed. 

The prime courtroom, which posted the petition to be filed for listening to within the week commencing August 17, stated nevertheless that it was unsure whether or not bodily listening to would start by then. It has been holding listening to through video conferencing because the COVID-19 lockdown in March.

“We permit a week to Divan to file the petition and a week to Centre to reply within a week of receiving the plea… Matter to be posted after two weeks,” the bench ordered.

The bench was listening to as many as seven pleas, together with two switch petitions from the Delhi High Court, on the difficulty they usually have been filed by individuals like activist Rajeev Suri and retired Lt Col Anuj Srivastava in opposition to numerous permissions given to the venture by the authorities together with the nod to alter the land use.

At the outset, Divan, showing for one of many petitioners, stated the case was primarily in opposition to the permission on change of the land use after which “there was an environmental clearance granted on June 17 to the project”.

He stated there have been a number of causes of motion and the grant of the EC may be challenged earlier than the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and the apex courtroom can not use its energy to curtail that problem to the EC earlier than the NGT.

The bench stated there have been two different petitions which raised the environmental points and the recent plea on EC will likely be ruled by the orders of the apex courtroom solely.

Lawyer Shikhil Suri, showing for Suri, stated one of many pending petitions challenged the grant of EC to the parliament venture solely, however now the difficulty of grant of EC to whole Central Vista venture has come up.

“There is no ‘We versus They’ here. Our parliament is being constructed. In future also defence and finance ministry buildings will be constructed,” stated Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, showing for the Centre, including that “private individuals” are earlier than the courtroom as additionally the “public spirited individuals”. 

“The project has to go through every level of scrutiny that a citizen can invoke. The clearance granted was for the construction of new and renovation of the existing parliament building,” Divan stated. 

Opposing the grant of the EC, Divan stated a piecemeal strategy was adopted and the whole central vista venture was wanted to be registered as a township venture after which the EC ought to have been granted. Recently, the CPWD has supported the venture and sought dismissal of the pleas difficult it. 

Earlier, the apex courtroom had stated that any change on the floor degree made by authorities for the Central Vista venture will likely be “at their own risk”.

It had made it clear that the destiny of the venture, which incorporates a number of new authorities buildings and a brand new Parliament House, will rely upon its resolution.

The pleas have challenged the grant of a no-objection certificates by the Central Vista Committee (CVC) and likewise the environmental clearances for the development of a brand new parliament home constructing. 

One of the pleas was filed in opposition to a Delhi High Court order which had stated the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) was not required to apprise it earlier than notifying modifications within the Master Plan to permit the Central Vista venture. 

The division bench of the Delhi High Court had on February 28 stayed an order of its single decide bench which had requested the DDA to strategy the courtroom earlier than notifying any change within the Master Plan for going forth with the Centre’s bold venture to redevelop the Central Vista. 

The excessive courtroom’s keep order on the only decide bench’s February 11 path had come on the intra-court enchantment of the DDA and the Centre.

The petitioners earlier than the excessive courtroom had opposed the Central Vista venture on the bottom that it entails a change in land use of the inexperienced space adjoining Rajpath and Vijay Chowk for constructing new Parliament and authorities workplaces.

Gujarat-based structure agency HCP Designs has gained the consultancy bid for the Centre’s bold venture to redevelop the Central Vista.

The revamp, which was introduced in September final 12 months, envisages a brand new triangular Parliament constructing, with seating capability for 900 to 1,200 MPs, that’s focused to be constructed by August, 2022 when the nation will likely be celebrating its 75th Independence Day. The frequent Central Secretariat is prone to be constructed by 2024. — PTI

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