Court lifts ‘silence zone’ at disputed shrine
Green Tribunal banned religious offerings beyond entry point to help prevent avalanches
The Supreme Court yesterday set aside an order by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that declared a “silence zone” in front of the ice stalagmite resembling the ‘Shivalinga’ at the Amarnath cave shrine in Jammu and Kashmir.
Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta stayed the December 13 order of the NGT while hearing a plea filed by the Amarnath Shrine Board against the order on the ground that a decision in a case could not be based on grounds outside the pleading of the parties.
Horses and ponies
The Amarnath cave shrine is considered one of the most revered by Hindus. The cave itself is covered with snow most of the year barring a short period of time in summer when it is opened for devotees.
Appearing for the Amarnath Shrine Board, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi told the bench that the NGT had taken up the Amarnath issue on its own while dealing with a plea relating to stopping the use of horses and ponies at the Vaishno Devi shrine premises in Jammu.