New Delhi, January 16
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a PIL seeking its intervention to declare the imminent subsidence of Joshimath in Uttarakhand as a national disaster.
A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud asked petitioner Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati to move the Uttarakhand High Court where a Bench led by Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi was already seized of a broad range of issues with regard to Joshimath subsidence.
“We do not want to use these proceedings for sound bytes for social media. We care only for relief for the people. Isn’t the High Court under Article 226 capable of giving it? Why can’t you raise all your issues before the High Court?” asked the Bench which also included Justice PS Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala.
Considered to be the gateway to Himalayan mountain climbing expeditions, trekking trails and renowned pilgrimage sites such as Badrinath and Hemkund Sahib, Joshimath is on the brink of subsidence after huge cracks appeared in hundreds of houses, roads and fields, forcing several families to seek shelter elsewhere. The state government has ordered immediate evacuation of the stranded families.
The top court had on January 10 refused to urgently list the petition seeking to declare the Joshimath crisis a national disaster, saying there were “democratically elected institutions” to deal with the situation and all important matters didn’t need to come to land before it. However, it had agreed to take up the PIL on January 16.
“Everything important need not come to us. There are democratically elected institutions to look into it. We will list it on January 16,” the CJI had told the petitioner’s advocate Parmeshwar Nath Mishra after he sought urgent listing of the case.
Contending that the incident has occurred due to large-scale industrialisation and sought immediate financial assistance and compensation to the people of Uttarakhand, Saraswati sought direction to the National Disaster Management Authority to actively support the residents of Joshimath in this challenging time.
“No development is needed at the cost of human life and their ecosystem and if any such thing is to happen, then it is the duty of the State and Union government to stop the same immediately at war level,” he submitted.
#Joshimath #Justice DY Chandrachud #supreme court #Uttarakhand
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