New Delhi (ILNS): The Supreme Court is hearing a series of petitions questioning the Centre’s Central Vista Redevelopment project and the government’s plan to construct a new Parliament building in the national capital.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, during the hearing of a petition filed in the Supreme Court, objecting to the construction of the new parliament and secretariat complex, or Central Vista, counted the pros of it.
The Solicitor General said that this plan and construction is not a bargain of losses or a waste of the public exchequer, but through this, due to the proper utilization of funds, it will save Rs 1.5 thousand crore rupees every year. It will be an eco-friendly building, natural energy will be used as well as offices running in rented buildings of various ministries will also come in their official building Central Vista.
Responding to the pleas of the petitioners’ counsel Shyam Dewan and Kapil Sibal before a bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar in the Supreme Court, Tushar Mehta said that the current building of parliament is over a hundred years old. It is evident that according to the current era, safety measures have been taken only with jugaad technology. The strength of the building has also been affected by the timestamps.
Tushar Mehta further said that the people who have challenged this project here talk about the lack of space in the parliament, the lack of security arrangements, and the lapse in the system. In such a situation, there is no need to assess and study this project from any independent institute or agency.
By filing two petitions before the Supreme Court, the petitioners have accused the government of illegally changing the land-use rules for the proposed Central Vista project at a place next to Rajpath. Under this project, ten buildings are to be built for all the ministries, secretariat, and many other offices including Parliament House.
The Supreme Court issued notice to the government and sought answers to the questions and allegations raised in the petition but did not stay the project work. For three days, Shyam Dewan questioned the various aspects of this project and put the intention of the government in the dock.
Mehta has submitted before the Court:
” Our Government functions through Council of ministers which is answerable to the parliament and parliament, in turn, is accountable to the people. That is the nature of our representative democracy.”
Justice Khanwilkar asked if Rule of law applies to India. Due process is part of the law. “They are saying you are following the rule by law not rule of law,” he commented.
The court has adjourned the proceeding for today. The case will now be heard tomorrow.
In its defense of the proposed Central Vista redevelopment project, the Centre told the Supreme Court yesterday that the question of whether or not to have a new Parliament building is a policy decision that the government is entitled to take.
-India Legal Bureau