The Delhi High Court is hearing the challenge made to the continuation of construction activity in Delhi for the Central Vista development project in the backdrop of the COVID-19 second wave. .A Bench comprising of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh is hearing the matter. .Live updates from the hearing today feature here. .Senior Advocate Siddharth Luthra makes submissions. Says that when plea was moved, concerns were raised about the health and safety of the workers at the site and people in Delhi.Luthra refers to statistics of COVID positivity rate, deaths when Court was moved on May 4 .Luthra: Question to be asked... is it too much for citizens to see misery, causation of death, to come to a constitutional court and seek protection for life?.Luthra: Right to health is a fundamental right. .Luthra refers to judgments. .Luthra reads from Parmanand Katara's case. ."There can be no second opinion that preservation of human life is of paramount importance.. Article 21 casts an obligation on the State to preserve life....".Luthra: The problem is, because of the pandemic, no beds, medicines, oxygen... people have met their demise... .Luthra refers next to Occupational Healthy and Safety Assn v. UOI case. .Luthra: When we came to your Lordships, we saw there was crumbling healthcare machinery... there was a curfew at the time and we came to court based on publicly available material....Luthra: What is nature of DDMA orders we were relying upon? ...Finding there was a problem in health, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority comes out with an order on April 6... sudden increase in COVID cases, positivity rate... curfew.. except for essential services activities.Luthra: On April 15, they say again weekend curfew.. and they again limit it (exemption) to the same categories (essential public services, print, media etc.).Luthra: How, on the 19th of April, for the first time... an exception is made for construction on page 59. Kindly read clause 8. .Luthra: There was a curfew imposed and everything had to be closed.. There were other orders, subsequently passed on April 25... May 1, May 9... What is most important that there is a limitation that construction will be onsite.Luthra: Suddenly we find very fascinating thing.. a letter is written..."permission to continue construction activities... construction work to Sharpoorji Paloonji... requested that Sharpoorji Paloonji may be allowed to continue activity... in view of stringent timeline of work".Luthra adds that the letter sought permission to ferry the workers for the construction activity. .The word used is "buses" and the permission is sought by a "Rajiv Sharma", Luthra notes..Luthra argues that the question is how this movement pass came to be issued in the category that it did. .Luthra: This matter has a very short controversy. Every time I read about it, there is a new controversy raised. Our focus is a 3.5 km stretch .Luthra: No response as to how this is an essential service. .Luthra: This is their claim, Respondent 4 says that from May 1 they are not transporting workers and they have sought to resolve the matter. There are two news reports. For reasons best know to them, they have suppressed annexures....Luthra refers to order that no construction is allowed in Delhi until workers are on site .Luthra: ... but permission is given for 180 vehicles? They say permission was taken to transport man and material, no document given on this, he adds .Luthra: We were afraid that their dereliction was going to lead to an Auschwitz on the gardens of Delhi .Luthra: They accept that it is a limited challenge but choose to attack the messenger and the message is health, life, and safety, not only ours or theirs but everybody's. .Luthra: What does a citizen expect? Openness and honesty. What do they get? They shout it down ... Central Vista should no longer be called "Central Vista", it should now be called the Central fortress of Delhi. .Luthra notes that there are notices barring videography and photography at the site. .Luthra: Let us see the falsehoods in their affidavit... Can your Lordships hear me? .CJ: Yes .Luthra: I got a message from a colleague that as always I am not clear (laughs) .Luthra: Let us see the first lie.. first permission was only for men and buses..Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appears, mentions there is a special bench constituted at 1 pm..Luthra refers to UOI affidavit that says that permission was sought to transport workers, materials, and supervisory staff .Luthra: No document of permission.. buses don't take materials... they must make a complete disclosure .Luthra refers to UOI's submission that some workers expressed willingness to stay put on the worksite .Luthra: No document of willingness placed..Luthra disputes UOI's submissions as regard facilities available, isolation and medical facilities, maintenance of COVID-19 protocol on the site. UOI has resorted to falsehoods, suppression of material facts, he argues..They want petitioners to go and physically verify in the middle of a curfew when only medical emergencies are exempted, Luthra argues. .A photograph is screen shared. .Luthra: Please see...There is no bed, there is no bedding, there is no person... My Lord will see, empty tents on April 24. And they expect your lordships to believe this? ... contrast this with what R4 says..Luthra reads the respondent's submission that about 400 workers were engaged by SPCPL initially, that some workers expressed willingness to stay back, that accommodation was made for them and that transportation was arranged etc..Luthra says it is not factually after April 30, there was no ferrying of workers to the site. Luthra reads UOI's submission that as of now there are about 280 workers on the site. .Luthra: As per your admission, from May 1 everything is in order... what happened between April 6-19 when you had no permission? From April 19-30? How many died, how many fell sick? How many tested? What has been the impact of residents in the locality? .Luthra refers to a COVID sample collected, highlights that it is a "home-collection." .Luthra: It is not an onsite collection.. with impunity they say this is a certificate of a man tested on the site? To say the least, disturbing.Luthra refers to claims that work started on May 1, that all workers were insured. Luthra then refers to a document that says insurance period is from May 5, 2021 - May 4, 2022 .Luthra: There was no insurance till May 5, 2021... And we are told that we have not done our homework?.Luthra refers to a report that quotes workers as having stated that workers have been coming every day .Luthra:..on May 7, workers are transported.. there is sewerage, MTNL, police... there are not only going to be workers on the site... all these people have to go back and forth.Luthra: What about their families? What about all of us living in Delhi... There are video reports....Luthra: From May 4, there has only been attempt to question the petitioner, shout them down and to set up infrastructure. This is contrary to the disclosure required from a State If there was infrastructure, they should just tell us there is infrastructure. .Luthra reads judgment which states that the State should produce complete information, that no one needs to remind the state that they represent the collective will of the society etc. .Court breaks for lunch. Hearing to continue at 2.15 pm..Bench assembles, hearing resumes. Sidharth Luthra to continue with his arguments..Luthra seeks permission to bring on record a video of Quint website. Respondent 4 has taken plea that there are republic day celebrations in January and hence timeline of Nov 30 has to be met: Luthra points out.November 30 can be December 30. It would make no difference. Our prayer is to halt it so that we get over the peak of Covid-19: Luthra.As per video report of Quint, seven labourers are shoved into one room. If there is on site accommodation, then they have to show it: Luthra.Luthra refers to UoI affidavit which casts aspersion on the petitioner alleging they approached court belatedly Am I to take instructions on legal strategy from Rajeev Sharma the Executive Engineer who has deposed by way of affidavit? Luthra.Is he reading a different version of Articles 19, 21, 136 and 226? If so am happy to lend a copy of Constitution to Sharma: Luthra.Is deadline of November 30 so sacrosanct that Article 21 has to be thrown away? Luthra asks..Luthra refers to Supreme Court order in Suo Motu Covid matter in which court wanted governments not to target citizens who appeal for help through social media. .Luthra concludes arguments.Solicitor General Tushar Mehta commences his arguments on behalf of Central government..I cannot give an emotive response to Mr. Luthra. I will base my arguments on facts: Mehta.There is no argument that right to life is part of Article 21 of the Constitution: Mehta.There have been numerous challenges to the project. This court and Supreme Court considered it. Supreme Court approved the project after it was vociferously argued for a number of days: Mehta.This construction has been going on since long. But there was nothing available for those who did not like project to come before the court in disguise: Mehta.Mehta reading out notification of April which did not prohibit any construction activity. Restaurants and many other activities were permitted then: Mehta..The limited restriction on construction comes on April 19, 2021 but it was only on construction where onsite workers were not residing: Mehta.This is a facade of PIL to disguise something they always wanted to stop under one pretext or the other: Mehta .Any bonafide litigant who had health interest of workers in mind would have withdrawn this petition: Mehta.Mehta says the photographs will certify that petitioner has resorted to suppression of facts. There is medical facility at the site and workers will have access to such medical facility which will otherwise not be available to such workers: Mehta..Public interest is very selective in this case. They don't care about other workmen 2 or 3 km away: Mehta says referring to how petitioner has not objected to certain other projects..It is unusual for a public spirited citizen to challenge by way of SLP an order of one week adjournment (by Delhi High Court): Mehta..They don't care about other workmen who are employed in other projects: Mehta.Everyone has right to criticise and be venemous but court cannot be platform to use terms like Auschwitz. It was a concentration camp in Germany and such expressions are being used on this august platform: Mehta .You may not express your opinion but please do not come to court to stall such projects. This is an abuse of court's jurisdiction: Mehta.Mehta concludes. Senior Counsel Maninder Singh commences arguments on behalf of builder, Shapoorji Pallonji. "This is not a bonafide petition," Singh.The petitioners are conscious of Supreme Court judgement and are trying to override it though they try to appear goody goody and say they are not: Singh.Their petition is based on personal knowledge or newspaper reports: Singh.Maninder Singh says a document relied upon has not been filed. Singh also disputes arguments by petitioners regarding number of buses etc.They are sensationalising by saying "this (Central Vista) has become Corona hub and People are dying": Maninder Singh.Once petitioner came to know the workers are staying on site and not being transported, they would have withdrawn the petition, but they have not: Singh.These two petitioners are not to decide when the work is to be completed. They can't say work can be completed by December 30: Singh.We must overcome this jolt which is given by pandemic. We will celebrate Republic Day. My learned friend ridiculed word celebration. We cant make a mockery of our celebration: Singh.Half of Rajpath is dug up. If water is allowed to fill up during rainy season the adjacent areas will fall into pit. We cant delay it if we want to celebrate Republic Day parade: Singh.My respectful observation is that this petition is not maintainable. We have followed all Covid appropriate behaviour: Singh.Luthra begins rejoinder submissions. Respondent 4 chose to be silent on May 4 and May 7. The issue is whether Respondents were in compliance with April 19 notification: Luthra .They say as of now all compliances have been made. I ask if these petitioners had not come to court, will all this have come out? Luthra .How was this work essential activity. This is an issue which needs to be considered. Respondent no3 has not said anything on affidavit: Luthra .This is not a second round. Neither is this to satisfy the vanity of individuals. It is the conscience of individuals to stop a disaster: Luthra.If they had all facilities on May 4, they could have very well said so then which they did not: Luthra.Republic Day is a very important day for us. But they have resorted to shooting the messenger. This has become a consistent approach - to attack the petitioner when they find no other traction: Luthra..I reiterate that if Your Lordships are to take Suo Motu cognizance, I will be happy to assist the court. At least, they have acted after Your Lordships entertained the petition: Luthra concludes..Delhi High Court reserves judgment on plea seeking halt on Central Vista construction considering Covid situation..Hearing ends.