Supreme Court allows foundation laying ceremony for the new Parliament building

The Supreme Court allowed the foundation stone-laying ceremony for the new Parliament building to go ahead as scheduled on 10th December. This was allowed after the government gave an undertaking to keep in abeyance construction or demolition of buildings and shifting of trees in the central vista area of the National Capital.

There have been various petitions challenging the redevelopment project of the Central Vista area in the National Capital and the Bench on November 5th had reserved its judgement. The court would consider whether the project complied with the land use and environmental regulations though the government has defended this multi-crore project Central Vista redevelopment plan.

This case for laying the foundation stone was listed suo motu on Monday. A Bench lead by Justice A.M.Khanwilkar expressed displeasure with the Centre for “aggressively” wanting to continue the construction, demolition and shifting of trees for the Central Vista while the petitions are still pending before the court.Solicitor General Tushar Mehta speaking on behalf of the Centre apologised to the court and gave an undertaking and stated that “ There will be no construction, demolition or felling of trees. Foundation stone will be laid. But, no physical change will be made.”

The Court recorded this statement and gave an order that the authorities are free to proceed with the formal procedures of laying down the foundation stone as scheduled on 10th December without making any alterations to the site.

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