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Supreme Court permits urgent hearing on Mathura demolition amidst legal standstill

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The Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala, and Justice Manoj Misra conducted a scheduled hearing on Wednesday, August 16th, in the Supreme Court. In this instance, the involved parties have been authorized to seek an urgent hearing by approaching the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court. The plea challenges the demolition drive initiated by the railway authorities to clear encroachments in the vicinity of the backyard of Sri Krishna Janam Bhoomi in Mathura.

The Public Relations Officer of the Railway stated that the area, mainly consisting of residential structures, where demolition was made in collaboration with local police and the administration, will be developed under an initiative. This development will involve converting the existing meter gauge railway track into a broad-gauge track.

This project is being carried out through cooperation between the railway authority, local police, and the administration in the backyard of the Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi, which will facilitate a connection between Mathura and Vrindavan.

The Senior Advocate who is representing the petitioner submitted the argument on Monday after the case was scheduled in the Supreme Court’s list.

“This relates to a premeditated demolition activity at Krishna Janam Bhoomi. Unfortunately, all Uttar Pradesh courts are presently non-operational due to an incident in which a lawyer was shot. Consequently, both the High Court and District Courts are unreachable. My only aim is to have the plea scheduled for review today.”

Initially, a civil lawsuit was filed regarding this matter in the Senior Division of the Civil Court in Mathura. In this lawsuit, they had requested a permanent injunction against the railway authority. However, during the course of these proceedings, demolition work began on August 9, 2023.

In reaction, they countered this move by submitting an application for an interim stay the following day. The Railway authority took advantage of the timing before the scheduled hearing and proceeded with the demolition of the house. As a result, the petitioner had no choice but to take their case to the Supreme Court as the only available option.

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