Delhi HC dismisses plea to halt Central Vista work

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court today dismissed a challenge against the ambitious Central Vista redevelopment project, and fined the petitioner Rs 1 lakh as it called the plea ‘motivated’.

A bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh was hearing the plea by Anya Malhotra, a translator, and Sohail Hashmi, a historian and documentary filmmaker, seeking to halt the ongoing part redevelopment of the Central Vista Avenue which includes both sides of Rajpath where Republic Day celebration are held.

They contended that the project was not an essential activity and therefore, could be put on hold for now during the coronavirus pandemic.

The court dismissed the plea saying the petition was motivated and not a genuine PIL. The court further allowed Central Vista construction to continue, saying it was a vital and essential national project.

The High Court while refusing to stay construction said that as the labourers are staying on-site, ‘no question of suspending the construction work arises’.

The bench said that clearance to the project has already been upheld by the Supreme Court. There is no question of suspending the work since the workers are residing at the construction site, the bench said, adding that the work on the project has to be completed in a time-bound manner.