The Supreme Court bench headed by Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari & Aniruddha Bose dismissed the plea against the Delhi HC order which had dismissed the plea seeking to halt the construction of “Central Vista Redevelopment Project” and had imposed a cost of One lakh on petitioners.
The Supreme Court today agreed with the findings of the Delhi High Court after noting that the petitioner had selectively chosen Central Vista Project and did not even research about other public projects which were allowed during the lockdown.
During the hearing, today Senior Advocate Siddharth Malhotra appeared for the petitioner Anya Malhotra submitted that we prayed to issue the writ in the nature of mandamus for the construction during the subsistence of peak face of the pandemic.
The Top Court pointed out that the petitioner didn’t raise any objection to similar projects in the City and that is what recorded by the High Court in its order.
“You are a PIL petitioner which is indicated in para 37 & you said that this is adding to the super spreader. Did you make honest research as to how many projects were going on & were of the same nature?” asked Justice Maheshwari.
Sr Adv Luthra replied the point is that there was no compliance by the contractor.
The Court put forward another questions as a PIL petitioner, did you do an honest research of all the similar projects?
The Court dismissed the petition.
The Court was heating the petitions filed against the Delhi High Court Order. One of the plea was filed by Advocate Pradeep Kumar Yadav seeking directions against the order passed by the Delhi High Court in Central Vista Project. The petitioner had raised questions of Law and Grounds that if whole country is affected in this pendamic scenario, even small shops and other things has been stopped then Why’s about more than 500 labourer are allowed in construction site and what’s are urgencies, even Hon’ble Supreme Court as well as other Hon’ble High Court and other Hon’ble Courts are fully closed in physical mode then Why’s not construction of Central Vista should be stopped till resuming of normal life of General Public.
The second plea was filed by Anya Malhotra who was the original petitioner before the Delhi High Court. The petitioners moved the Supreme Court against the judgment of the Delhi High Court which had dismissed their plea against the classification of Central Vista work as essential during the second Covid wave and had imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh on them.
The appeal filed by Anya Malhotra and Sohail Hashmi said,
“The judgment, especially the imposition of exorbitant costs, has a chilling effect on public spirited individuals raising genuine issues of public health and on the right of citizens to question the actions of the government and to hold it to account, which it is submitted is the bedrock of democracy.”
The Delhi High Court had dismissed the petition stating that since workers are staying at work site, there would be no spread of Novel Corona virus, as all the precautions have been taken up by the Centre and it cannot halt the construction under the DDMA order of April 19.
The appeal in SC further stated, “The impugned judgment apart from misconstruing the bonafide intention of the petitioners, without cause cast them in a negative light at the cost of their right to reputation.”
“Since it (construction work) had the potential of being a super spreader activity, on account of the to and fro movement of the workers from the site to their accommodation at Sarai Kale Khan, Karol Bagh, Kalkaji, Nizamuddin, etc., it was posing a grave risk to the health and safety of the workers and the residents of Delhi,” the plea added.