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SC transfers to itself petitions against Central Vista redevelopment

It is planned that a common central secretariat complex, a new Parliament building would be constructed

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Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 7

Invoking ‘larger public interest’, the Supreme Court has transferred to itself petitions challenging the re-development of New Delhi’s Central Vista area from the Delhi High Court.

“In our opinion, it is just and proper that writ petition itself is heard by this Court instead of examining the grievance about the manner in which the interim directions have been passed and then vacated by the High Court,” a Bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar said on Friday.

Earlier, a single judge’s Bench had directed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to approach the Court before notifying the proposed land-use changes in the Central Vista.

But a Division Bench of Delhi High Court had stayed the single judge’s order that had come on two petitions filed by Rajeev Suri and Lt Col Anuj Srivastava challenging the Public Notice inviting objections against the change of land use of several plots of land in Central Vista.

Apprehending that the DDA may notify the proposed land-use changes, Suri had moved the top court against the Division Bench order.

Noting that the transfer order was not a reflection on the proceedings before the High Court, in any manner, the top court said it took the decision in larger public interest.

“We deem it appropriate that the entire matter pertaining to challenge pending before the High Court is heard and decided by this court expeditiously,” it said.

“Any steps taken by the authorities, in the meantime, will be subject to the outcome of the proceedings,” the top court said.

Suri had contended that the notice inviting objections for the change of land use of several plots in Central Vista was not in conformity with Delhi Master Plan-2021 and other relevant laws and norms.

The Central Vista redevelopment plan – which aims to free up 75 acre land in the heart of the capital – involves demolition of around 10 buildings, including Shastri Bhawan, Udyog Bhawan, Krishi Bhawan, Vigyan Bhawan, Vice-President’s House and Lok Nayak Bhawan. It is planned that a common central secretariat complex and a new Parliament building would be constructed.

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