The Supreme Court recently announced its verdict on the Central Vista case. It was a transferred case from the Delhi High Court. The case dealt with several petitions filed against the Central Vista Project initiated by the Central Government. The petitioners including Rajeev Suri had opposed this project as it involved the change in land use of the lush green area surrounding the Rashtrapati Bhawan and the Vijay Chowk.

The central government and the Delhi Development Authority are given the power to modify the Master Plan of Delhi that was notified in 2007 to guide the direction of development of the National Capital Territory until 2021. This was modified in March 2020 to include the Central Vista project. Sections of land are assigned for specific purposes such as recreation, government, public and semi-public, which were modified to accommodate the Central Vista project. The petitioners argued that change in land use was not really a “modification” and also raised concerns on the manner in which the permissions were granted.

The Centre had intended to build a new parliament building and build spaces to accommodate the ministries that have been currently located at several different places. The project which is to be built at the 3- kilometre from the Rashtrapati Bhawan stretch was announced earlier in September 2019 and was to be constructed completely by 2022 August. It is going to be a triangular building with the Central Secretariat which will be completed by 2024. A Gujarat based architectural consultancy firm named HCP designs had won the bid for consultancy for the redevelopment project.

The judgment saw a split of 2:1 with Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari delivered their majority opinion with Justice Sanjeev Khanna dissenting with the judgment. The delivered majority judgment comprised of 432 pages out of which 100 pages dealt with the questions of rule of law, judicial review power of executive with respect to the Central Vista Case.

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