A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Madan B Lokur today directed the demolition of a parking lot being constructed within a kilometer of the Taj Mahal in Agra.
The bench ordered the authorities to complete the demolition work within four weeks.SC is hearing a petition filed by environmentalist M C Mehta.
The apex court has been monitoring development in the area to protect the Taj Mahal, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz in 1631.
When the matter came up for hearing today, Justice Lokur enquired about the presence of the counsel appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government.
When it was informed that no advocate was present, the bench said the parking lot would be demolished.
Later in the day, advocate Aishwarya Bhati, standing counsel for the UP government, mentioned the matter before the bench seeking recall of the order, but the court asked her to move an appropriate restoration application in this regard.
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 on the issue of protecting the iconic monument.