Goa's 'Curlie's' restaurant, in the spotlight after Haryana BJP leader Sonali Phogat's death, was being demolished this morning when the Supreme Court put the process on hold.
The court, however, directed the restaurant to shut shop until it decides on a petition challenging the demolition, and set September 16 as the next date of hearing.
The Goa government started tearing down the restaurant after its owner failed to get any relief from the National Green Tribunal or NGT. On Thursday, the green body upheld the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority's previous order to demolish the shack for violating environmental rules.
This morning, heavy police presence was seen outside the shack for its demolition. The demolition squad of the district administration along with police personnel arrived at the beach around 7.30 am to demolish the restaurant that was built in 'no development zone' in violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone norms
The restaurant, located on Goa's famous Anjuna beach, made headlines after Sonali Phogat was seen partying there hours before her death. Its owner, Edwin Nunes, was among four people arrested in the case. He was later granted bail.
According to police, Sonali Phogat was allegedly drugged at the restaurant before her death.
She was given a recreational drug, methamphetamine or 'meth', by her associates at Curlie's Restaurant hours before her death, police had said. They said she was forced to drink "an obnoxious substance" before they left for the hotel.
She was brought dead to a hospital the next morning, on August 23. It was initially seen as a case of heart attack, but the family sensed something amiss, at which the police action followed.