SC refuses to hear Joshimath plea, says Uttarakhand HC should handle crisis

“If the HC has proceeded, then we will have to give reins to HC. If HC is seized of broad range of issues, we’ll give liberty to HC.

Published: 17th January 2023 07:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th January 2023 07:36 AM   |  A+A-

Locals protest against the demolision of the unsafe hotels and houses after cracks appeared at the landslide affected area of Joshimath, in Chamoli district, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023. (PTI )

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Noting that Uttarakhand High Court is seized of the situation regarding the land sinking crisis in Joshimath and has also directed for constitution of an SIT comprising independent experts to study the matter, the Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea seeking its intervention. 

The top court was hearing a petition filed by Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati. Remarking that the reliefs can be addressed before the High Court, a bench of CJI DY Chandrachud, and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala granted the seer liberty to approach the HC. 

“If the HC has proceeded, then we will have to give reins to HC. If HC is seized of broad range of issues, we’ll give liberty to HC. The proceedings are giving sound bite to people on social media,” the CJI said. 
Urging the bench to grant the reliefs as prayed for, counsel for seer Jagatguru Shankaracharya termed the issue as “serious.” Deputy AG for Uttarakhand government submitted that the Centre and the state had been “proactive”. 

The plea had sought for declaring the current situation as national disaster. It argued that construction work at the Tapovan Vishnugad Hydro Electric Project should not begin until a high-level panel of experts has looked into the issue. It had also sought for immediate financial aid to those losing their houses and land on account of the subsidence. The seer had also urged the court to take steps to protect the spiritual, religious and cultural places at Joshimath. 


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