The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave go-ahead to the redevelopment plan for the Central Vista project that included the construction of a new Parliament Building and a common Central Secretariat.
The three-judge bench, however, insisted that the clearance of the Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC) will be mandatory and the same should be obtained by the project consultant before proceeding with the development work, Hindustan Times reported.
The Bench also directed the installation of smog guns at the project site as a measure to curb pollution and asked the Ministry of Environment and Forests to consider having smog guns while carrying out any such development work in the future.
The majority judgment was delivered by Justices AM Khanwilkar and Dinesh Maheshwari.
The third judge on the bench, Justice Sanjiv Khanna, dissented with regard to the change of land use and prior approval of HCC.
In his verdict, Justice Sanjiv Khanna, who gave an alternative view, held the project was “bad in law” in terms of land use for two reasons.
“There is no intelligible disclosure of public participation and no prior approval of heritage conservation committee,” the judge said.
The dissenting judge even found the environment clearance inadequate.
However, his view would be of little avail as the majority bench gave blanket approval to the Centre’s decision on change of land use and grant of environment clearance.
Even the notice inviting bids and selection of project consultant HCP Designs was held to be fair.
The government had defended the project in court, arguing that the current British-era Parliament House, opened in 1927, had less space, no fire safety norms or was earthquake-proof.
It had also contended that all central ministries need to be in one place to improve the efficiency of the government.
The government had also argued that the Central Vista project is a policy decision and the court cannot strike down policy decisions unless they violate fundamental rights.