Central Vista Project gets clean chit from SC by 2:1 Majority

SC: Deprivation of property right only through procedure established by Law

The judgment was pronounced in a series of petitions challenging the project Central Vista, concerning the renovation and development of nearly 86 acres of land in the centre of Lutyens Delhi, marked among others structures such as the Parliament, Rashtrapati Bhavan, India Gate, North Block, and South Block.

The Central Vista project was challenged by the Petitioners for environmental approval and many other aspects.

On December 7, the SC permitted the Central Government to perform the Foundation Ceremony of the Central Vista project without altering the position of the location in any way. However, a variety of riders have been set up by the Court, such as clearances from the Heritage Conservation Committee. 

The SC had criticized the Union for continuing with the construction works of the project even though the judgment on the pleas was pending. 

The Court also said that the recommendations of the environmental clearance by the Ministry of Environment are just, valid and proper and hence we uphold the same.

The Court however held that the approval of the Heritage Conservation Committee would be needed for the construction work to begin. The proponents of the projects are required to get approval from the committee. 

A bench consisting of Justices A M Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari, and Sanjiv Khanna passed the order.  Justice Khanna, who wrote the dissenting verdict, said that despite the national lockdown, NOC was granted to the project by the Central Vista Committee via a meeting held via video conference and without providing any reasons.