New Delhi, Jan 16: The Supreme Court on Monday declined to entertain a plea seeking its intervention to declare the crisis in Joshimath a national disaster.
A counsel submitted that people were dying and in dire need of rehabilitation. A bench headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud remarked, “Please do not use the proceedings for sound bytes for the social media.”
The bench, also comprising Justices P.S. Narasimha and J.B. Pardiwala, asked petitioner Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati to move the Uttarakhand High Court with his petition.
The bench told the counsel that over and above this, if he has something to say in addition, he had the liberty to move the high court. “Once we start hearing this, we will deprive the high court an opportunity to hear the case,” said the bench.
The plea submitted that subsidence has occurred due to large-scale industrialisation and sought immediate financial assistance and compensation to the affected people.
Emphasising that it could not deprive the high court from hearing the matter, the top court asked the petitioner to either file a fresh plea or intervene in the proceedings there.
The Uttarakhand government contended that apart from this another petition has been filed in Delhi High Court and about this, all of his prayers have been acted upon by the Central and the state government.
The bench, in its order, recorded that the petitioner can intervene in the pending proceedings before the high court or file a fresh plea. “We request the High Court to consider the petition filed with reasonable dispatch,” it said.
The plea contended that no development is needed at the cost of human life and their ecosystem and if any such thing is to happen, then it is the duty of the state government and Union government to stop the same immediately.
The plea also sought a direction to the National Disaster Management Authority to actively support the Joshimath residents.