PIL against Central Vista a disguise to stall project: Centro a HC | India News
NEW DELHI: The Center on Monday objected to the Delhi High Court PIL to stop the construction of the Central Vista project before the pandemic and alleged that the allegation was a “facade” to paralyze the work.
The petitioners, on the other hand, maintained that they were only interested in the safety of the workers at the site and the lives of the citizens and compared the project to “Auschwitz”, a German concentration camp during World War II.
The strong arguments against the maintainability of the guilty plea and the continuation of the project were presented during the hearing of more than three hours before a court of the Chief Justice DN Patel and Judge Jyoti Singh, who reserved his trial in the case.
Shapoorji Pallonji and Company Pvt Ltd, which won the tender for the project, also opposed the PIL, saying it lacks good faith and that the company was taking care of its workforce.
Opposing the claims of the petitioners, State Attorney General Tushar Mehta said that the plea was a “facade”, a “disguise” in the form of PIL to paralyze the project that they always wanted to stop.
Lead attorney Sidharth Luthra, who appeared on behalf of the petitioners, told the court that his clients were only conveying a health and safety message to the people of Delhi and that if the government cannot see it, then it was a “sorry reflection” of their concerns for the lives of citizens.
Referring to ongoing project work not as Central View, but as “central fortress of death” and comparing it to “Auschwitz”, Luthra maintained that the Center’s presentations regarding the availability of medical facilities, testing center, etc. in the place they were all falsehoods.
He said only empty tents were set up at the site and there were no beds or bedding for workers to stay or sleep there.
Mehta was upset that the project was referred to as Auschwitz, saying that it can be criticized and poisonous about it, but that those terms should not be used in court.
Luthra also argued that while the Center claims that some workers voluntarily stayed to work on the project, no proof of their willingness has been shown.
He also said that if facilities have been created on the site, it was for the reason that the higher court agreed to hear the matter.
Countering the petitioners’ claims, the Attorney General said that one of the petitioners had opposed the project long before he obtained the go-ahead from the Supreme Court in January of this year.
He said that the petitioners were not concerned about the health and safety of the workers of the other constructions that were being carried out in the city.
“The public interest is very selective (in the present case) with respect to the health of the workers,” he added and urged the court to dismiss the motive.
Lead attorney Maninder Singh, who appears on behalf of Shapoorji Pallonji, told the court that there was no law under which he would have to record a worker’s willingness to work.
He said that the petitioners cannot decide what was the safe timeframe to complete the project and that the company had to finish it in November for the Republic Day parade to take place on Rajpath.
He further said that half of Rajpath has been unearthed and that if the work stops, when the monsoon hits, the wells will fill with water, which could lead to the collapse of adjacent areas and also the creation of a breeding ground for vector-borne diseases. diseases.
The court heard the allegation of Anya Malhotra, who works as a translator, and Sohail Hashmi, historian and documentarian, who have argued that the project was not an essential activity and therefore, it may be suspended for now during the pandemic.
The project involves construction activity on Rajpath and the surrounding lawns of india gate to Rashtrapati Bhawan, said the petition, presented through advocates Gautam Khazanchi and Pradyuman Kaistha.
The project foresees the construction of a new Parliament House, a new residential complex that will house the Prime Minister and Vice President, as well as several new office buildings and a Central Secretariat to house the ministry’s offices.