Supreme Court refuses to halt construction of Central Vista Project

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed an appeal against a May 31 judgment of the Delhi High Court refusing to halt the Central Vista redevelopment project amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A Bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Aniruddha Bose demanded why the petitioners, who sought a halt on construction of the project citing COVID-19, singled out Central Vista when construction activities for other similar projects were also progressing.

Announced by the Centre on September 13, 2019, the Central Vista Project aims at redeveloping 86 acres of land in Delhi which has important structures including the Parliament, Rashtrapati Bhavan, India Gate, North Block and South Block. In the verdict dated May 31, the division bench of the Delhi HC comprising Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh held that the whole Central Vista Project is an essential project of “national importance”. Highlighting that the redevelopment of the Central Vista Avenue has to be completed by November 2021 as per the court, it stated that the Delhi Disaster Management Authority order had not been flouted. Moreover, it imposed costs worth Rs.1 lakh on petitioners Anya Malhotra and Sohail Hashmi and dismissed the plea.