Central Vista project: SC to hear challenge to change of land use first

The top court in its order put out a draft flow chart indicating the heads of the broad issues.
Supreme Court
Supreme Court

New Delhi, Aug 20 : The Supreme Court said on Thursday that it will first hear the broad issue challenging the change of land use for the Central Vista project.

A bench comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna said: “We make it clear that the court will first begin with the hearing of the broad issue regarding the challenge to the change of land use being contrary to the provisions of Delhi Development Act, 1957.”

The Central Vista project includes a new Parliament building and it covers a 3 km stretch from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the India Gate in Lutyen’s Delhi. The observation was made by the bench while hearing a batch of petitions challenging several aspects, including environmental clearance given to the project.

The top court in its order put out a draft flow chart indicating the heads of the broad issues.

“For the sake of convenience, a draft flow chart has been prepared by the office indicating the heads of the broad issues in different petitions filed and listed so far for hearing and, in particular, referring to the specific notifications/notices challenged therein,” said the top court.

The SC said that the parties involved in the matter are free to give suggestions to improve or modify the flow on the next date of hearing.

In the previous hearing, the apex court had said it will hear the plea challenging the Central Vista project on three counts — changes in land use, violation of municipal law and violation of environmental law.

The apex court has posted the matter for further hearing on August 25.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, questioned the challenge made in the pleas challenging the project.

The pleas challenging the project have been filed by activist Rajeev Suri and retired Lt Col. Anuj Srivastava. The petitioners have moved the apex court against various permissions given to the project.

On July 29, the apex court allowed the petitioners to challenge the environmental clearance granted on June 17 to the Central Vista project, which involves construction of a new Parliament building.

The top court told senior advocate Shyam Divan that his client can file a petition within a week under Article 32 of the Constitution challenging the environmental clearance given to the project. Divan argued in an intervention application filed on behalf of private individuals having expertise in the field.

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