The Supreme Court on Monday said it cannot enter into the domain of the executive and district administration, as it declined to entertain a plea seeking a direction to the Centre, J& K administration and Shri Amarnath Shrine Board to cancel/restrict access of general public/devotees for the Amarnath Yatra this year in the backdrop of the coronavirus outbreak.
The petitioner has alternatively sought live ‘darshan’ of Lord Amarnath through internet & TV “so that crores across the country can have access”.
A bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud said ” With due respect to the principle of separation of powers….we leave it to the concerned authorities to take a decision on the matter. We are not inclined to entertain this petition.” The top court observed that the decision on whether the annual pilgrimage should be permitted and required safeguards to be observed falls in the domain of the executive arm of the state.
“Whatever difficulty you apprehend, we cannot take over the functioning of district administration”, Justice Chandrachud told the counsel for the petitioner Amarnath Barfani Langar organisation.
The petitioner argued in the plea that annually several lakh devotees visit Amarnath cave shrine, and if this is allowed then it may lead to spread of the disease. The plea has also contended that though Shri Amarnath Shrine Board has not given permission to begin the annual pilgrimage, yet few ‘Bhandara’ organisations have been asked to reach the venue by June 28 and also asked to begin service (seva) from July 3 onwards.
This move indicates that there may be some plans to give requisite permission for the annual pilgrimage, therefore, the petitioner moved the apex court seeking direction to the Centre to restrict the access to the general public/devotees.
The petitioner has urged the apex court to direct the Centre to make arrangements to provide live darshan of Lord Amarnath through internet and TV, which would allow access to crores of people across the country to get ‘darshan’. Apart from the Centre, the Jammu & Kashmir administration and Shri Amarnath Shrine Board have also been made respondents in the plea.