Demolition drive in Mathura given 'communal overtone', railways claims in SC
The railways said the demolition was carried out under a project to convert the metre gauge to broad gauge for running high-speed or express trains connecting Vrindavan with Mathura Junction
The Indian railways, in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, has said that the petitioner challenging demolition drive near Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi in Mathura gave its action a "communal overtone" by linking it with a disputed religious premises.
"Such false assertions have been designedly made by the petitioner to provoke an instantaneous response of outrage by this Honourable Court, for the purpose of obtaining interim relief," it said.
The railways said that the petitioner has no locus to maintain the plea, and has not come with clean hands.
The reply document said the demolition was carried out as the railways in Mathura undertook a project to convert the pre-Independence era metre gauge to broad gauge for running high-speed or express trains connecting Vrindavan with Mathura Junction.
It said that Mathura to Vrindavan is an important pilgrimage centre having very high footfall.
On August 16, the Supreme Court had directed the railways to maintain 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 shooting of an advocate.
The petitioner, Yakub Shah, in his plea filed before the Supreme Court said that he had filed an application seeking permanent injunction against demolition in civil court of Mathura but the railways commenced demolition in the meantime.
Published: 25 Aug 2023, 8:10 PM