New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered demolition of a parking lot being constructed by the Uttar Pradesh Tourism department near the Taj Mahal. The order, which came from a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta, gave the Agra district administration four weeks to demolish the multi-storeyed structure coming up within 1 km of the eastern gate of the monument.
When the matter came up for hearing, the court sought the presence of the counsel for the Uttar Pradesh government and passed the order when told that no advocate was present. Later in the day, the UP government standing counsel raised the matter before the bench and sought recall of the order, but the court declined to do so and instead asked her to move an appropriate restoration application in this regard.
The 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. Mehta, in his PIL, had sought protection of the Taj from polluting gases in and around the area.