New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear the Uttar Pradesh government’s restoration plea against its order to demolish a multi-level car parking facility being built within a kilometre of the Taj Mahal on 27 October.
The apex court had on Tuesday ordered demolition of the parking lot, being constructed near the eastern gate of the 17th century monument. The Uttar Pradesh government’s counsel mentioned the matter before a bench headed by justice J. Chelameswar and sought urgent hearing of the restoration application.
“We have suffered an order of demolition of the multi- level car parking. We are praying for urgent listing of the restoration application," advocate Aishwarya Bhati, representing the state government, told the bench.
The counsel contended that the state’s advocate could not appear before the court on Tuesday when the matter was called up for hearing before a bench headed by justice Madan B. Lokur, due to which the demolition order was passed.
The apex court, which is dealing with a petition filed by environmentalist M.C. Mehta, has been monitoring development in the area to protect the Taj Mahal, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal in 1631.
The historic white marble mausoleum is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mehta, in his PIL, has sought protection of the Taj from the ill effects of polluting gases and deforestation in and around the area. The apex court had earlier passed a slew of directions to protect the monument.