New Delhi, Aug 1: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Jammu and Kashmir government to prepare a plan and apprise it within a month as to how it would phase out mules used for carrying pilgrims to Vaishno Devi shrine and rehabilitate mules owners.
In July, a bench of Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta had asked the government to protect the pony and mule owners, who are operating there for a long time ferrying devotees to and from the shrine, and look into issues of their rehabilitation on "humanitarian grounds".
Additional solicitor general Maninder Singh and advocate Shoeb Alam, appearing for Jammu and Kashmir, said the plan for rehabilitation of pony and mule owners was to go before the sub-committee of the Cabinet, but as of now, there was no government in the state which is under governor's Rule.
"The sub-committee was constituted, but before they could look into the issue of rehabilitation, the government fell in the state," they told the bench.
In May, the apex court had asked Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board to look into the matter of rehabilitation of mule owners in a humanitarian manner.
As per LiveLaw report, the bench observed thus as it was told by the ASG State of Jammu and Kashmir that a plan has been made for rehabilitation of Mule owners operating on the track between Katra town to Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Ji Shrine and that the Shrine Board declined to part with any funds for the rehabilitation of Mule owners apparently on the ground that after a new track is inaugurated they do not require the services of the Mule owners.
Pilgrims on way to Amarnath
Security personnel look on as a batch of pilgrims are on their way towards the holy cave shrine of Amarnath, in Sheshnag Lake on Tuesday, July 3, 2018.
Crssong mountain on mules
Pilgrims cross mountain trails during their religious journey to the Amarnath cave temple, at Pahalgam in Anantnag district of J&K on Friday, July 06, 2018
Devotees ride on mules
Devotees ride on mules to pass across a landslide affected zone near Vaishno Devi Temple, in Katra on Friday, June 29, 2018. (PTI Photo)
PM Modi rides on pony
BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi rides a pony during his visit to Mata Vaishno Devi shrine in Katra on Wednesday. PTI file photo