New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked Indian Railways to suspend its demolition drive near Mathura’s Krishna Janmabhoomi and ordered status quo for next 10 days.
The SC’s observations came in response to a plea filed by one Yakub Shah in the court which sought a stay on the ‘illegal’ bulldozing of their property. Petitioner claimed that they have been living in these houses since 1980s and the state administration has suddenly started razing their residence.
The 66-year-old petitioner claimed that the Railways took to demolish their houses & subsequently evict them, when the courts were shut. He said that he had no other option but to directly move to the Apex Court.
The three-member bench comprising of Justices Aniruddha Bose, Sanjay Kumar and S V N Bhatti ordered, “Let there be status quo as regards the subject premises for a period of ten days”.
The court also directed that the matter be listed after one week.
Bar & Bench reports that demolition work by Railways began on August 9 and was challenged in a civil court on August 10. As the lawyer representing Railways said he had no instructions on the matter, the case was adjourned.
The matter was slated to be heard in civil court on August 14 but it remained closed over a shooting incident. As the Bar Council had passed resolution calling for closure of courts in protest against a lawyer shot at, the courts including the Allahabad High Court remained shut on August 14.
Petitioner said that the Railways had demolished more than half of the structures in the area and if there is no stay on further demolition, his plea would become infructuous.
The petitioner prayed for Apex Court’s intervention on the matter, on the ground that they were being driven out of their homes since 1980s and suddenly were being evicted from their houses.
The petitioner further claimed that the police personnel were also deployed at the site to drive them out of their homes and detain if they object.