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The Supreme Court bench comprising of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari & Sanjeev Khanna on Thursday resumed hearing on the challenge to the Central Vista project and the government's proposal to construct a new Parliament in Delhi. The challenge revolved around three main issues, namely, change of land use, violations of municipal law, violations of environmental law.
Advocate Shyam Divan’s main contention on the matter has been that, “The Parliament is considered as a symbol of the working of India. Like the Supreme Court building, it is a very important part of the living heritage of our democracy. Therefore, it is not an appropriate move that one day a person thinks to change the Parliamentary building, floats a tender, invites bids in merely three weeks and the entire decision is left to a single expert whether there should be one Parliamentary building or more?”
He remarked the above decision as brazenly unconstitutional and undemocratic. He raised his concerns regarding the principles of limited governance, public participation & consultations, and right to know. He said that, “it is a Parliamentary building and not some defense establishment.” He pressed upon the fact that the government cannot impose a Central vista on people, public participation is of utmost importance in such decisions and that every document is required to be in the public domain. He also advanced case laws on how the transparency aspect was important while such decisions were taken by the executive in support of his contention.