Demolition of Restaurant Linked to Sonali Phogat’s Death Stopped Midway on SC's Stay Order

Authorities on Friday morning began demolishing the North Goa-based restaurant 'Curlies' linked for alleged violation of Coastal Regulation Zone norms.

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Panaji: Even as authorities on Friday morning began demolishing the North Goa-based restaurant linked to the death of BJP leader Sonali Phogat for alleged violation of norms, the action was stopped midway after its owner claimed that the Supreme Court gave a stay on it.

The state government had begun razing the popular restaurant – Curlies – located at Anjuna in North Goa around 7:30 am for violating the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms. However, the process was stopped around 11:30 am.

The restaurant was in news recently after Phogat, a BJP leader from Haryana, 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.

Gajanan Korgaonkar, the lawyer representing Linet Nunes, a co-owner of the restaurant, told reporters at the demolition site that the Supreme Court has granted a stay on the action.

He said that any commercial activity was banned at this place till the next Supreme Court hearing, which is scheduled in the coming week.

After the lawyer’s claim, the authorities stopped the demolition activity.

A senior official of the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) said they are yet to receive the order from the Supreme Court and even if there is a stay on the action, it would be partial.

“Only one part of the restaurant has been claimed by the owner, while others which are outside his survey number of the land are disowned by him. We will go ahead with those parts which are disowned by him, even if there is a stay,” he said.

The demolition squad of the district administration along with Anjuna police personnel had arrived at the beach in the morning to demolish the restaurant that was built in ‘no development zone’ in violation of the CRZ norms, another official said.

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. Deputy collector of Mapusa sub division Gurudas S.T. Desai had issued the notice.

According to police, Phogat, a former TikTok star and contestant on the reality show ‘Bigg Boss’, was allegedly drugged at the restaurant before her death on August 23.