SC quashes NGT order on ‘silence zone’ at Amarnath
Nanak film: No SC relief for SGPC
TIMES New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday quashed the order of National Green Tribunal (NGT) declaring Amarnath cave shrine a silence zone and prohibiting religious offerings beyond the entry point.
In a bid to preserve the ecosensitive Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas, the NGT took suo motu cognisance of noise pollution near the shrine and passed a slew of directions including declaring the area a ‘silence zone’ saying it would be helpful in preventing avalanches and maintaining its pristine nature.
It had taken up the Amarnath issue while dealing with a plea relating to stopping the use of horses and ponies in Vaishno Devi shrine premises in Jammu.
Challenging the order, Amarnath Shrine Board approached the SC raising question on how could NGT interfere in the age-old tradition followed by devotees visiting the holy shrine. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi contended that the NGT order was against religious sentiments of the people and pleaded that it should be quashed. How court tribunal restrain devotees not to have “prasad” with them, he said.
A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta, after a brief hearing, quashed the NGT order. It, however, asked the J&K government to place before it a plan to phase The
Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), the top temporal body of Sikhs, made a fresh attempt on Monday to stall release of film ‘Nanak Shah Fakir’ citing the body’s 15 year-old resolution banning portrayal of Sikh Gurus, their immediate family members and ‘Panj Pyare’ in films. Senior advocate P S Patwalia reiterated that depiction of Gurus in films went against Sikhism. A bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra refused to interfere with the film’s release and said, “To order that no one should write or make a film in veneration of the Guru, can we enforce it? No religion can say, no one is permitted to write a book on it.” out use of horses and ponies in Vaishno Devi shrine and introduce battery operated vehicles to carry devotees.
The bench also stayed the NGT order slapping a fine of Rs 50 lakh on the state government for not framing rehabilitation plan for around 4,400 porters who carry pilgrims on horses and mules to the shrine.
Additional solicitor general Maninder Singh and lawyer M Shoeb Alam, appearing for the state, told the bench that motorable track had been constructed and battery operated vehicles introduced for pilgrims. They said a rehabilitation plan for porters had been framed but it was waiting for cabinet approval.