On Wednesday, August 16, the Supreme Court ordered a status quo for ten days in connection with the ongoing demolition drive by the Agra Railways authorities to remove encroachments near the Shri Krishna Janmasthan in the Mathura district of Uttar Pradesh.
After Senior Advocate Prashanto Chandra Sen argued that the petition would become infructuous if the demolition work continued, a three-judge panel of Justices Aniruddha Bose, Sanjay Kumar, and SVN Bhatti issued this judgement on Wednesday granting interim relief to the residents of Nayi Basti area.
Supreme Court puts on hold for 10 days the demolition drive by Railway authorities to clear encroachment near Krishna Janmabhoomi in Mathura.
SC ordering status quo on demolition drive, also issues notice to Centre on plea against demolition and posts case after one week. pic.twitter.com/DILQDwtpYn
— ANI (@ANI) August 16, 2023
The counsel representing petitioner Yakub Shah claimed that the Railways authorities deliberately undertook the demolition drive on the day when all the courts in Uttar Pradesh were closed.
“When we approached this court, all courts in Uttar Pradesh were closed. Taking advantage of this, the authorities have bulldozed over 100 houses. There are some 200 houses in the area. Only 70-80 are left. The whole thing will become infructuous,” the counsel representing the petitioner argued.
Following that, the court stayed the demolition drive for ten days and issued a notice to the Centre on the pleas against demolition and posted the case after a week.
Yakub Shah, a local resident, had filed a writ petition under Article 32, requesting an urgent hearing. He claimed that the demolition was carried out in a Muslim-populated area.
After advocate Prashanto Chandra Sen requested an urgent hearing in the matter on Monday, a bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud decided to list the petition on Wednesday, August 16.
This comes after the Railways authorities launched a demolition drive to clear illegal construction in the Nayi Basti area near Shri Krishna Janmasthan in Mathura and reportedly razed down around 135 houses. It is notable that the Nayi Basti area is situated along the railway track in the backyard of Shri Krishna Janmasthan.
The action by Railways authorities came after a notice was issued by them to the Nayi Basti residents to vacate the land belonging to the Railways department.
As reported earlier, some residents of Nayi Basti claimed that the demolition drive was conducted to cause ‘panic’ and ‘fear’ even as the railways stated that a notice was issued to the Basti residents a month prior to the demolition drive.
The Railways stated that the land on which the homes of Nayi Basti have been illegally built belongs to the railway board and that the site must be cleared for the construction of a special rail route between Mathura and Vrindavan.