Supreme Court clears way for Games Village

J. Venkatesan

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday stayed Delhi High Court orders stalling constructions in the upcoming Commonwealth Games Village on the banks of the Yamuna in Delhi for holding the games in 2010.

A Bench of Chief Justice K. G. Balakrishnan and Justice P. Sathasivam stayed the orders dated November 3 and all further proceedings relating to the constitution of a committee to go into the environmental aspects of the construction activities in the village.

The Bench granted the interim stay till December 15 and posted the matter for further hearing on that day.

Appearing for the Delhi Development Authority, Solicitor-General G. E. Vahanvati submitted that the High Court had passed the orders eight months after reserving judgment, which would seriously jeopardise the very conduct and holding of the Commonwealth Games, for which a commitment had been made by the country to the Commonwealth Federation.

He said the direction on setting up of a committee would virtually halt the constructions and cast a shadow on the games.

In its special leave petition, the DDA said the High Court directions seemed to suggest that the CWG was being constructed on a riverbed/floodplain.

It said when expert and scientific bodies had given a categorical finding that the site in question was not a riverbed or a floodplain, it was not permissible for the court to sit in judgment over the expertise of these scientific institutions and embark upon further enquiry.

The project which had been substantially implemented had now been unsettled and if the directions were carried out it might even result in orders to pull down the construction without reference whatsoever to the impact it would have on the Commonwealth Games and the image of the country, the SLP said seeking an interim stay of the two orders and the related proceedings in the High Court.