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Supreme Court refuses to intervene in Amarnath land transfer row

July 04, 2008 20:44 IST
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The Supreme Court on Friday refused to interfere with the Jammu and Kashmir government's decision to revoke the transfer of land to Amarnath Shrine Board but directed the authorities to provide security to pilgrims stranded in the state due to the turmoil over the issue.

"We cannot revoke a cabinet decision," a bench headed by Justice Altamas Kabir said while declining to go into the question of directing the administration to lift the curfew from Jammu region, which witnessed violent protests against the revocation of the land transfer order.

"We are not going to withdraw curfew. Lifting the curfew is beyond our jurisdiction," the bench, also comprising Justice G S Singhvi said while hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by Bhim Singh, chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party.

The bench, however, allowed his prayer that adequate security and medical facilities be provided to stranded pilgrims to Amarnath and Vaishno Devi shrines.

"Pilgrims either to Vaishno Devi or Amarnath Shrine be provided adequate security till they complete their pilgrimage and leave Jammu and Kashmir," the bench said. 

The  said various other issues and submissions including compensation to families of victims killed and injured in police firing during the protest could not be considered as these issues were not for the courts to decide and fell in the domain of the administration.

While directing the authorities to provide medical facilities to residents in the curfew-hit areas, the bench cautioned Singh, who had filed the PIL in his personal capacity, not to extract political mileage out of it.
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