STATE TIMES NEWSJAMMU: Justice Sanjeev Kumar of Jammu & Kashmir High Court, while disposing of petition challenging formalities for organising free Langer during Amarnath Yatra, observed that controversy raised by petitioner can be set at rest by providing that such organizations, who have been set up in 2020 onwards, shall make a representation to respondent Board for permitting them to run Langar services without insisting for audited balance-sheets for financial years 2018-2019, 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, as an one-time exception.In a petition filed by Shri Amarnath Barfani Langars Organisation, it was submitted that respondents vide circular No. SASB/2020/983 dated August 6, 2020, have seriously impacted right of the petitioner to form an association and deal with respondent Board, which is in violation of Article 19(1)(c) of Constitution of India; and that respondents, in terms of various communications inviting offers dated 19th January, 2021, has insisted for audited balance sheet of Langar Organisation/NGO signed by Chartered Accountants for financial years 2018-2019, 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, as a result of which new NGO/LO have been held disentitled to organise Langars.Justice Sanjeev Kumar, after hearing Adv Ankur Sharma for petitioner whereas Advocate Anuj Dewan Raina for Shri Amarnath Shrine Board, observed that Anuj Dewan Raina, counsel for the respondents, has filed objections and is on record to state that impugned circular is not intended to impose any restriction on activities of the petitioner association nor it could be construed, by any stretch of reasoning, to be a restriction on petitioner to form an association. It is submitted that the petitioner association is free to deal with Board on the issues which affect all Langer Organizations/NGOs but it has to desist from raising individual disputes of Langar Organisations/ Samitis.Court after hearing both the sides, do not find any illegality or unconstitutionality in the impugned circular. Court further observed that a holistic reading of impugned circular would make it abundantly clear that the respondent Board has only provided that individual dispute or grievance of an NGO/Langar Organisation shall be raised by the Organisation/Samiti concerned and the petitioner association shall not file representations on behalf of such aggrieved Organisation/ Samiti seeking permission to hold Langer enroute Shri Amarnath ji Shrine.Court further observed that apprehension of the petitioner that it may not be permitted by respondent Board to take up general causes or grievances which are common to all Langar Organisations/ Samitis is not well-founded. To allay such apprehension, Court found it appropriate to clarify that while the petitioner association shall be free to make representation(s) or raise issues which are common to organization of Langars enroute Shri Amarnath shrine. However, it shall be for the concerned Langar Organization/Samiti to raise individual disputes, make grievances or submit representation(s) to the Shrine Board without involving petitioner association. The role of the petitioner association shall be limited and restricted to dealing with Shrine Board only on the matters, which pertain generally to common issues of organisation of Langars by different Langar Organisations/ Samities enroute Shri Amarnath Shrine. This takes care of first grievance of the petitioner.With regard to second grievance of the petitioner, it is pointed out that it is true that apart from other terms and conditions set out in the communication inviting offers, the respondent Board has also provided that a Langar Organization/Samiti, to be eligible to run a Langar service, shall have to furnish its audited balance sheets duly singed by the Chartered Accountant for the financial years 2018-2019, 2019-2020 and 2020-2021.It is grievance of the petitioner that there are few new Langar Organizations/ Samities which have come in existence only in 2020 and 2021, who are though willing to provide Langar service yet are not in a position to do so, referred above, prescribed by the respondent Board with regard to the audited balance sheets.Adv Anuj Dewan Raina, appearing for respondent Board, however, submitted that the aforesaid condition has been introduced only with a view to bring in more transparency and to ensure that only genuine and legitimate Langar Organizations/ Samities are permitted to run Langar service.Justice Sanjeev Kumar observed, “After given my thoughtful consideration to this aspect of the matter, I am of the view that the controversy raised by the petitioner can be set at rest by providing that such of Organizations who have been set up in the year 2020 onwards shall make a representation to the respondent Board for permitting them to run Langar services without insisting for audited balance sheets for financial year 2018-2019, 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, as an one-time exception.” Court further said that the respondent Board receive any such representation, the same shall be considered by it on its merits and if such Organisation meets all other requirements and Board is satisfied with regard to its financial position and credibility, it shall permit such Organization to run langar service without insisting for audited balance sheets for year 2018-2019, 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, as an onetime exception.
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