New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Monday postponed its verdict on the PIL seeking to halt the construction of the Central Vista redevelopment project during the Pandemic times.
Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, who represented the petitioners, submitted that the safety of the workers on site was their only concern and called the project "central fortress of death" and compared it to "Auschwitz", a concentration camp of Nazi Germany.
However, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representative of the Centre, alleged that the plea was a "facade" to stall the work.
After a three-hour-long hearing, a bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh reserved its judgement in the matter.
The petitioners had also alleged that terming Central Vista construction as an essential service is inappropriate when the country is grappling in the Covid-19 pandemic, and a curfew is being imposed in the state.
"There was a curfew imposed and everything had to be closed. Suddenly we find a very fascinating thing, a letter is written seeking permission to be granted to Shapoorji Pallonji in view of the stringent timeline of work," said Luthra.
Shapoorji Pallonji and Company Pvt Ltd, which has been awarded the tender, also opposed the PIL, citing the construction firm was taking due care of its employees.
Meanwhile, Luthra argued that the Centre's submissions in connection with the availability of medical facilities, testing centre, etc on site were all fake statements and alleged that no proof of willingness has been brought on record from the workforce.
Petitioners Anya Malhotra and Sohail Hashmi had filed a PIL asking a stay on the construction activities of Central Vista alledging the potential threat posed by the construction on the workers, amid pandemic.