The Supreme Court on Monday set aside an order of the National Green Tribunal asking devotees not to chant mantras or ring bells inside the Amarnath cave in South Kashmir, PTI reported. In December 2017, the tribunal clarified that the area had not been declared a “silent zone” and the new rules did not impose any restrictions during rituals.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for the Amarnath Shrine Board, accused the tribunal of jumping the gun and imposing the restrictions.
Environment activist Gauri Mulekhi filed the petition, IANS reported. When her lawyer Krishna Venugopal said the tribunal had not declared the entire area a silence zone and that they were concerned by mules polluting the area, Rohatgi said the tribunal had passed the order while hearing a petition on stopping the use of horses and ponies in Vaishno Devi shrine premises in Jammu.
The bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta then asked Mulekhi to file a proper petition mentioning her concerns about pollution near the shrine. “There is a procedure which needs to be followed,” they said.