Central Vista Plea: Supreme Court imposes costs of 1 lakh calls the Plea ‘motivated’

Central vista project Law InsiderCentral vista project Law Insider

Lekha G

A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court’s judgment which refused to halt the Central Vista Redevelopment project during the pandemic imposing costs of 1lakh.

The petitioners Anya Malhotra and Sohail Hashmi sought a stay on the order dated 31st May 2021 as an interim relief stating that the imposition of exorbitant costs would have a chilling effect on public spirited citizens raising genuine concerns of public health.

The petition also stated, “The High Court erroneously and without any justification or basis held the petition to be ill-intended, motivated and lacking bonafides. The judgment, apart from misconstruing the bonafide intention of the petitioners, cast them in a negative light without cause and at the cost of their right to reputation.”

Referring to the Centre’s allegation that the petitioners were targeting a certain project specifically, the petitioners clarified that the same was done in light of credible material available publicly regarding the work being carried out in the Central Vista project in violation of the DDMA guidelines.

The plea further contended that they sought direction to halt the project only during peak phase of the pandemic and the Delhi High Court had passed the judgment solely relying on submissions of the respondents at face value and dealt with the matter as if the petitioners were seeking to “Stop the work per se”.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh on May 31st dismissed the PIL seeking temporary suspension of the project stating that, “As the workers are staying on site, no question of suspending the construction work arises in light of Covid-19.”

It had also termed the petition a “Motivated petition” and not a “Genuine public interest litigation”.

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