STAMPEDE AT SHRI MATA VAISHNO DEVI SHRINE

DB allows one month’s time to UT Admin, Shrine Board, Ors to file Response

23/09/2022



JAMMU, Sep 22: In a significant development, a Division Bench of the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh at Jammu (through Virtual Mode from Srinagar) comprising its Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Sindhu Sharma allowed a month's time to the Secretary, General Admin-istration Department (GAD), Govt. of J&K, Principal Secretary to the Hon'ble Lieutenant Governor of Union Territory of J&K, Financial Commissioner (Additional Chief Secretary) Home Department, J&K Govt, ADGP(Jammu Zone), Divisional Commissioner (Jammu), Chief Executive Officer, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board(Katra), SSP Reasi, SDPO Bhawan and SHO P/S Bhawan(Katra) in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL No. 12/2022) seeking directions to the Government of J&K to make public the Inquiry Report of 03 Members Committee constituted vide Govt. Order No. 01-JK(GAD) of 2022 dated January 1st, 2022 to look into the unfortunate incident of stampede at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji Shrine (Bhawan) in Katra, in the intervening night of December 31st,2021 and January 1st,2022 which resulted into the unfortunate death of 12 devotees and several others were injured.
These directions were issued in a PIL field by Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed through Advocate H.A. Siddiqui requesting to fix the accountability of the delinquent officers/officials who remained remiss in the performance of their duties on the fateful night when 12 innocent Yatris lost their precious lives.
After hearing Senior Advocate A.V. Gupta with Advocate H.A. Siddiqui and lawyers appearing for the petitioner in the above said PIL and the petitioner-in-person, the Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal observed and directed in the open court that AAG Raman Sharma appearing for the UT Administration prays that he may be allowed time to seek instructions in the matter. The DB further observed that in view of the above and as prayed for, a month's time is allowed to him and if necessary, he may file comprehensive reply. The DB on the prayer of Advocate Adarsh Sharma appearing for Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board, Katra also granted him time to file response and time was also granted to Deputy Advocate General K.D.S. Kotwal appearing for the Government of J&K to respond in the matter.

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