The Delhi High Court Monday directed the Amarnathji Shrine Board to file a status report on a plea seeking direction to adopt the online system for booking and sale of tickets for helicopter services from Jammu and Kashmir, especially for old, ailing and disabled pilgrims, for the yatra.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Sachin Datta issued notice on the petition.
The petition by an organisation, the Indian Council of Legal Aid, submitted that the refusal of the Centre and the shrine board to introduce the online system for booking and sale of all tickets of helicopter services from Jammu and Srinagar for the Amarnath yatra, is resulting into hoarding and black marketing of tickets leading to the misery for thousands of genuine and needy pilgrims.
It termed it as wholly arbitrary, discriminatory, irrational, unwarranted and unjust, and against the public interest.
The counsel appearing for the Amarnathji Shrine Board said 100 per cent booking for helicopter services for the Amarnath pilgrimage will be done through an online process and the same will be put in place shortly. The court listed the matter for further hearing on May 31.
The petition, through lawyer Avadh Kaushik, said as per a news report it is the priority of the union government that the pilgrims coming for the Amarnath yatra should have hassle-free darshan and they should not face any problems.
“But surprisingly, the problem of not being able to obtain helicopter tickets for Baba Amarnath Yatra, by the old and ailing and disabled pilgrims on account of the black marketing of tickets by the authorised agents in collusion with the local hoteliers which already stood highlighted /exposed by the local newspapers and about which a representation already stood made by a public representative…,” the plea said.
It sought to direct the authorities to forthwith make available all the tickets for helicopter service from Jammu/Srinagar to Baba Amarnath Shrine through the online booking system only and also revoke the quota of tickets allotted by it to its authorised travel agents for this year's yatra. This year’s yatra will begin on June 30 and conclude on August 11.
(With PTI inputs)