Goa’s Curlies beach nightclub faces demolition as NGT dismisses appeal - Hindustan Times
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Goa’s Curlies beach nightclub faces demolition as NGT dismisses appeal

Jun 03, 2024 01:27 PM IST

The western zone of the NGT was hearing the case afresh after the Supreme Court directed the green tribunal to provide an opportunity to both parties and then pass fresh orders in accordance with law

The National Green Tribunal has dismissed an appeal against demolition filed by Goa’s nightclub ‘Curlies’ and upheld the Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority’s (GCZMA) order for being in violation of CRZ norms.

The owner of Curlies had argued that the present structure was a modification of an old structure that existed prior to 1991. (ANI file photo)
The owner of Curlies had argued that the present structure was a modification of an old structure that existed prior to 1991. (ANI file photo)

Disposing an appeal filed by owner Linet Nunes, the NGT bench of Dinesh Kumar Singh and Dr Vijay Kulkarni called the evidence, submitted by the owner that a structure was in existence prior to 1991, the year the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification came into existence, as unsubstantiated, inconclusive or downright fabricated.

“The Google (satellite) images in 2003 did not show the existence of any structure at the place where the offending structures are located presently. The appellant failed to produce any permissions from Panchayat, Excise Department, Town and Country Planning Department, etc. to show that he was operating from the said offending structure prior to 1991… the same has not been proved by cogent evidence by the appellant,” the NGT ruled.

Also Read: SC stays demolition of Curlies restaurant in Goa linked to Sonali Phogat’s death

The western zone of the NGT was hearing the case afresh after the Supreme Court directed the green tribunal to provide an opportunity to both parties and then pass fresh orders in accordance with law.

Part of the controversial nightclub located at the south Anjuna beach, was demolished following orders of the NGT.

The demolition took place following the death of BJP leader and actor Sonali Phogat who spent her final hours at the nightclub where she was allegedly drugged before succumbing to death the following morning on August 2022.

The owner of Curlies had argued that the present structure was a modification of an old structure that existed prior to 1991 and as such was not bound by CRZ norms.

However, they failed to produce any evidence supporting their claims.

“There is nothing to show that there is an extension to the same structure, which is converted into a huge house without any additional construction having been done. It cannot be believed that any such huge construction at the site in question could take place without permission for the same having been obtained from GCZMA or any other relevant Authority, nor has the applicant produced any license for running the hotel business. Therefore, this itself is a good enough ground to order demolition of the property in question. We find force in this argument,” the NGT also ruled.

The Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority, which defended its initial demolition order also claimed that the evidence to claim prior existence of the structure was fabricated.

The certificate dated 05.05.1982, purported to have been issued by the Village Panchayat, Anjuna-Caisua is apparently a fake one as Goa became a state on 31.05.1987, the GCZMA said.

Earlier to it, it was a Union Territory, known as “Government of Goa, Daman and Diu”.

The emblem shown in the said disputed document is of Government of Goa (State of Goa) and not of Government of Goa, Daman and Diu (Union Territory). In 1982, when Goa was a Union Territory, emblem used to be the “Ashok Stambh”, the GCZMA claimed.

“The burden lies upon the appellant to prove the fact as to how an original area of 242 sq metres plinth was extended in such a big hotel without any permission from the Authority, which burden could not be discharged by the appellant. This is sole ground that the Authority was well within its authority to pass the impugned order,” the NGT ruled.

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