Go ahead with foundation stone-laying ceremony for Central Vista project: SC

Go ahead with foundation stone-laying ceremony for Central Vista project: SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday allowed the Centre to proceed with the foundation stone-laying ceremony for the Central Vista project on December 10 after the government assured it that no construction or demolition work would commence till the apex court decides the pending pleas on the issue.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told a bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar that there would be only foundation stone-laying ceremony, and no construction, demolition or felling of trees would be done for the project as of


The Central Vista revamp, announced in September last year, envisages a new triangular Parliament building, with seating capacity for 900 to 1,200 MPs, that is to be constructed by August, 2022 when the country will be celebrating its 75th Independence Day.

The common Central Secretariat is likely to be built by 2024 under the project against which various pleas have been filed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone on December 10 for the new Parliament building and the construction is expected to be completed by 2022 at an estimated cost of Rs 971 crore, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla had said on December 5.

This matter was listed suo moto in view of certain developments. After interacting with the Solicitor General and when the concern of the court was expressed, on instructions, the Solicitor General stated that there will be no construction activity of any nature on the concerned site(s) nor demolition of any structure will be done, including the further trans-location of tree(s) will be kept in abeyance, until the pronouncement of judgment in all these cases, said the


We take that statement on record. In view of the above, we clarify that the authorities would be free to continue with procedural processes without altering the status of the site(s) in question in any manner, including to continue with the scheduled programme of foundation stone-laying on December 10, 2020, the bench, also comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna, said in its order.

The top court is seized of pleas which have raised questions over several aspects, including the environmental clearance granted to the project.

During the hearing conducted on Monday through video-conferencing, the bench asked Mehta to apprise it within five minutes about the government's view on the issue of construction work for the project.

The bench observed that it would not allow construction or demolition till its decision on the pending pleas opposing the project.

The top court said however that the Centre can proceed with the requisite paperwork in the meantime.

On November 5, the apex court had reserved its verdict on a batch of pleas which have raised questions over the Centre's ambitious Central Vista project, which covers three km stretch from RashtrapatiBhavan to India Gate in Lutyens' Delhi.

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