Central Vista project: SC concludes arguments on land use change

New Delhi, Sep 3 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Thursday concluded the arguments on the change of land use in connection with the government’s Rs 20,000 crore Central Vista project, which includes a new Parliament building.

New Delhi, Sep 3 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Thursday concluded the arguments on the change of land use in connection with the government’s Rs 20,000 crore Central Vista project, which includes a new Parliament building.

A bench comprising Justices A.M. Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna said: “Arguments in respect of challenge to the impugned notification(s) on the ground of impermissibility of change of land use as proposed have been concluded today.”

From the next hearing, the bench will begin hearing arguments on violation of municipal laws. “On the next date, as requested by the counsel for the parties, we will proceed to consider the second broad issue as noted in our order dated August 20, namely, Violation of Statutory/Municipal Laws,” added the bench.

The top court has asked the Centre to file a consolidated response before September 5 in the matter, and the petitioners would have to file the rejoinder, if any, within one week thereafter. The bench has listed the matter for further hearing on September 14.

On August 20, the apex court had said: “We make it clear that the Court will first begin with the hearing of broad issue regarding challenge to the change of land use being contrary to the provisions of Delhi Development Act, 1957.”

The observation was made by the bench during hearing a batch of petitions challenging several aspects including environmental clearance (EC) given to the project, which covers a three-km stretch from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to the India Gate in Lutyens’ Delhi.

The top court had put out a draft flow chart indicating the heads of broad issues. “For the sake of convenience, a draft flow chart has been prepared by the office indicating the heads of 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 court. It had also said that the parties involved in the matter are made free to give suggestions to improve or modify the flow on the next date of hearing.

Taking up the matter, 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 even as Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, had questioned the challenge made in the pleas to the project.

Activist Rajeev Suri and Lt Col. Anuj Srivastava (retd.) had moved the apex court against various permissions given to the project.

–IANS

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