SC dismisses plea challenging demolition drive near Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi in Mathuratext_fields
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea challenging the demolition drive near Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi in Mathura while granting liberty to the petitioner to seek further relief, including a stay on demolition, from the jurisdictional civil court.
“The relief claimed in this petition, in our opinion, is better examined in a suit as proceedings are pending (before jurisdictional civil court), we dispose of the petition with liberty to the petitioner to apply for relief before the civil suit,” ordered a bench comprising Justices Aniruddha Bose, Sanjay Kumar and S.V.N. Bhatti.
“We have not made any comment on merit in this matter and all the points are left open to be determined by the suit court,” clarified the bench. It refused to pass any interim direction ordering stay against demolition.
Senior advocate Prashanto Chandra Sen, instructed by advocate Kaushik Choudhary, urged the apex court to record the submission made by Railways in its affidavit that it will not carry out any further demolition in the disputed area.
At this, the bench said: “Show that affidavit before the trial court.”
Earlier on Friday, the court did not pass any order extending the ten days status quo order passed earlier on August 16 while asking the petitioner to respond to the Railways' claim that the petitioner has not approached the top court with clean hands as he is not having any property situated on the Railways land.
In its counter affidavit, the Railways had said that the petitioner challenging demolition gave its action a "communal overtone" by linking it with disputed religious premises.
The reply document said that the demolition was carried out as the Railways in Mathura undertook a project to convert the pre-Independent era 'meter gauge' to 'broad gauge' for running high-speed or express trains connecting Vrindavan with Mathura Junction Railway Station.
It had said that Mathura to Vrindavan is an important pilgrimage centre having very high footfall.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had directed Railways to maintain the status quo with respect to the disputed land for a period of 10 days, while issuing a notice on the plea.
The petitioner had submitted in the apex court that Railways initiated demolition activities taking advantage of the situation when courts in Uttar Pradesh were closed pursuant to a resolution passed by the Uttar Pradesh Bar Council on account of the shooting of an advocate.
With agency inputs