The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the demolition of a restaurant at Anjuna in North Goa which was in the news recently following the death of BJP leader Sonali Phogat, after its counsel claimed the relevant regulations were not applicable as the building was in existence prior to 1991.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and justices S Ravindra Bhat and P S Narasimha heard the matter on an urgent basis after the counsel for the restaurant owner claimed the demolition was already underway while he was arguing the case.
“Considering the fact that the impugned order was passed on September 06, 2022 and the fact that the demolition has been going on, we have taken this matter on Board and heard learned counsel,” the bench said.
Senior lawyer Huzefa Ahmadi, appearing for restaurant owner Linet Nunes, referred to certain documents to submit that “the structure in Survey No.42/10 was in existence prior to the year 1991” and it cannot be punished for the violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms.
He said that only “Survey No.42/10 belongs” to Nunes and other structures do not belong to him. “Consistent with the statement made by the learned senior Advocate on behalf of the appellant, structures in existence in lands other than Survey No.42/10, are not covered by the width of this Order. Resultantly, if there be any unauthorized construction in lands other than Survey No.42/10, the demolition can certainly go on.
“(b) There shall be a stay of demolition with respect to structures standing on Survey No.42/10 subject to the appellant not undertaking any commercial activity in or with respect to said structure,” it said.
Passing an order, the bench asked the counsel for the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority to convey the order to the authorities instantly for compliance.
The bench asked the restaurant and bar owner of ‘Curlies’ to suspend commercial activities for the time being.
The Goa government on Friday morning began demolishing the restaurant for alleged violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms.
Meanwhile, the demolition of parts of Curlies Restaurant resumed Friday afternoon following a brief halt due to a Supreme Court order.
The top court earlier in the day stayed the demolition so the action was halted for a few hours, but the order was limited to only the part of the restaurant standing on a particular survey number, said a senior official of the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) in Panaji.
Phogat was found partying at the outlet hours before her death. Its owner Edwin Nunes was among five persons arrested in the Phogat death case and he was later granted bail.
The action against the restaurant was initiated after its owner failed to get any respite from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against the 2016 demolition order of the GCZMA.
The case was heard on September 6 by the NGT bench chaired by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel. The bench had upheld the order of GCZMA disposing of the petition filed by the restaurant management.
On Thursday, the district administration had issued a notice asking its demolition squad to raze the structure on Friday.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)