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Supreme Court quashes NGT order on ‘silence zone’ at Amarnath shrine

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Supreme Court of India

New Delhi, April 16: The Supreme Court on Monday set aside an order of 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.

A bench of Justice 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.

The Amarnath cave shrine is considered one of the most holy 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 pilgrims.

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 in Vaishno Devi shrine premises in Jammu.

The bench asked petitioner and environment activist Gauri Mulekhi to file a proper petition on the issue relating to the Amarnath shrine.

During the hearing, Rohatgi told the bench that the NGT had barred chiming of bells, offering of “prasad”, chanting of mantras or saying “Jai Bholenath” in the areas surrounding the famed cave shrine to preserve its eco sensitivity.

Hearing this, the bench quipped: “What does it (NGT) want to say?”

Rohatgi added: “How can they ask that you can’t take ‘prasad’ with you? People have religious sentiments.”

On the NGT’s order of banning carrying of “prasad”, the bench suggested that Amarnath Shrine Board could provide the “prasad”.

On December 13, the green penal had declared the cave shrine a “silence zone” and prohibited religious offerings beyond the entry point to help prevent avalanches and maintain its pristine nature.

A day later, following protests by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, which termed its order as a “Tughlaki fatwa”, the NGT clarified that it had not declared a “silence zone” at the Amarnath cave shrine but due silence had to be maintained only in front of the “Shivalinga”.

The apex court stayed another order of the NGT where it had imposed a cost of Rs 50 lakh on the Jammu and Kashmir government for not finalising a rehabilitation plan for horses and mules which have been barred from plying from Katra to the Vaishno Devi temple.

The tribunal had earlier said that a new path should be created to the shrine exclusively for pedestrians and battery-operated cars and directed that no horses or mules would be allowed on the new route to the shrine.

The apex court was on Monday informed that the scheme for rehabilitation had been finalised and would be placed before the state cabinet for its approval.

IANS

India

Tejashwi Yadav thanks people of C’garh, Rajasthan, MP for voting ‘against tyranny’

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Tejashwi Yadav
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Madhya Pradesh Live :Congress Seeks Governor’s Appointment to Stake Claim to Form Govt

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Kamalnath-Scindia

Bhopal, Dec 11 : The Congress party has sought  an appointment late tonight with the Governor to stake their claims to form the government in Madhya Pradesh. The party has sought appointment by sending an email and a fax too.

Governor House issued a statement , ” An appointment will be given only after the situation is made clear by the Election Commission.”

The Congress led by Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia is fighting it out with the BJP to grab number one position in the state. The Congress, in fact, has already established contact with smaller parties to secure alliance in a bid to form govt.According to sources, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party have agreed to support the Congress to form a government in Madhya Pradesh.

Congress party will go to the Governor House as soon as they win 116 seats in the state. The party has won 69 seats and is leading on 44 seats

Congress party is leading with 114 seats, BJP has 108 seats while BSP has 2 and still waiting for the final result.

“Congratulations to the Congress for their victories. Congratulations to KCR Garu for the thumping win in Telangana and to the Mizo National Front (MNF) for their impressive victory in Mizoram, Pm Modi said.

“We accept the people’s mandate with humility. I thank the people of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh & Rajasthan for giving us the opportunity to serve these states. BJP Governments in these states worked tirelessly for the welfare of the people, PM Modi said.

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Bhima-Koregaon case: SC to examine charge-sheet against 5 accused in January

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New Delhi, Dec 11 : The Supreme Court will examine in January the charge-sheet filed by Maharashtra Police against five alleged urban Naxals accused in the Bhima-Koregaon case and for having links with the outlawed CPI (Maoist).

The Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi directed the hearing in January as senior counsel Indira Jaising appearing for the accused said that she needed time to go through the bulky charge-sheet running into more than 5,000 pages.

The Maharashtra Police had last week filed a charge-sheet running into 17 volumes against the five accused – Surendra Pundlik Gadling, Sudhir Pralhad Dhawale, Rona Jacob Wilson, Dr. Soma Sen and Mahesh Sitaram.

Along with the charge-sheet in Marathi running into more than 5,000 pages, the Maharashtra Police has also filed copies of the charge-sheet translated into English.

As senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi informed the court that the copies of the charge-sheet along with their translations have been filed, senior counsel Jaising said that she needed time to go through them.

The apex court in the last hearing on December 3 had directed the Maharashtra Police to place before it the charge-sheet filed against the accused along with the translated copy and a gist of the allegations made therein.

The court had directed that the particulars of another case filed against Gadling along with the complaint/FIR, as may be the case, be also filed.

The matter relates to the alleged singing of “objectionable songs” and instigating comments, speeches and sloganeering at the Elgar Conference by Dhawale and others at the Bhima-Koregaon Shouryadin Prerna Abhiyan organised by the Kabir Kala Manch on December 31, 2017.

Accusing the five activists of their links with the CPI (Maoist), the Maharashtra government has alleged that they mislead backward people and ingrained radical Maoist thoughts in their minds.

As part of their propoganda, the members of the Kabir Kala Manch — Sudhir, Dhavale and others — are known for their instigating speeches at various places in Maharashtra which would “create enmity and violence in the society”, says the Maharashtra police.

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