Srinagar – Staying quarrying near a historic cave in central Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed the government to submit the status report on November 19.
The court granted stay after admitting a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against alleged illegal stone quarrying around Abhinav Gupta Caves known as ‘ Batta Goff’ in the central Kashmir district of Badgam. Convenor Roots in Kashmir and social activist VirSaraf and another social activist TanveerHussain Khan Director ANHAD Voluntary Organisation who have filed the PIL jointly today said a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice, Justices M M Kumar and HasnainMasoodi has also stayed quarrying near the cave. They alleged that though they tried their best to get this stone quarrying stopped through administrative means but did not get any positive response from the government.
“We therefore had no option but to file a PIL in High Court, seeking directions to government to stop the quarrying,” they added. The Division Bench has now admitted the PIL and directed the authorities to immediately stop quarrying near the cave, counsel for the petitioners Advocate Irshad Ahmad Wani said. The court took serious note of stone quarrying around Abhinav Gupta caves, he said adding the court not only directed the state government to stop stone quarrying immediately but also issued notices to state government as to what rule and regulation have been formed for stone quarrying across the valley.
The bench has fixed November 19 as next date of hearing and asked the government to submit the status report on or before that date. The Union of India, State Government, Commissioner-Secretary General Administration Department, Commissioner-Secretary, Tourism and Culture Department, Director Department of Archives, Archaeology and Museums (DAA&M),Director Geology and Mining, Director General of Police, Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Deputy Commissioner, Budgam and Senior superintendent of Police, Badgam have been made respondents in the PIL.
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