SC Allows Foundation Ceremony of Central Vista Project

The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the foundation stone laying ceremony for the new Parliament by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 10. The SC allowed the foundation ceremony after the Center promised to stop all work at the Central Vista project site.

The statement by the Centre came after the apex court took note of recent developments about construction activity being undertaken at the site.

A common Central Secretariat, a new Parliament House building, and residences of Prime Minister and vice-president will be constructed under the Central Vista project. The new Parliament building will be ready by 2022. A portion of the new Central Secretariat, which will house offices of all central ministries, will be completed by 2023.

The bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maaheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna especially met to convey to the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta about the recent developments concerning the project and indicated to pass a stay order if no statement was forthcoming from the Centre.

According to a report of Hindustan Times, the central government has maintained that the redevelopment is in conformity with the existing laws and will not harm any heritage buildings.

It took five minutes for Mehta to take instructions and returned with a statement that all physical work carried out at the site will be put in abeyance till pronouncement of judgment by the court.

As the top court is seized of petitions challenging grant of clearances given to Central Vista Project, the bench said, “It should not be a fait accompli presented to the Court. Stop at the foundation laying ceremony. Some deference must be shown to the Court.”

The SC told Mehta that if any physical changes are made it cannot be later undone. However, it allowed paperwork related to the project as also the foundation laying ceremony already fixed to proceed as scheduled.

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