DB directives in PIL regarding protection of artifacts, monuments

SRINAGAR, OCT 12: In a Public Interest Litigation filed by Valley Citizen’s Council, seeking directions for protection and conservation of artifacts, monuments and excavation sites in Kashmir besides directions to find the manuscript of the Quran, A Division Bench of State High Court Comprising Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey, directed to file up-dated status report with regard to the CBI investigation.
When the PIL came-up for hearing, Division Bench observed that Pursuant to the previous order dated 20.09.2017 Adv Dar has submitted a status report dated 09.10.2017. As per the status report, the department of Archives, Archaeology and Museums, J&K, Srinagar, (Archaeology Wing), requires skilled as well as un-skilled staff in addition to the existing staff for better maintenance of excavation sites and monuments, considering number of monuments and sites, which are spread over hundreds of kanal of land in different places. As per the said report, the requirement of staff has been summarized at page 6 of the status report which indicates that the total staff required would be of 236 personnel as against the existing staff of only 25 personnel. Dar informed the Court that the department would send the proposal to the Government within a week. We expect that the Government shall expedite the consideration of the proposal which is to be submitted by the department because there is dire need of proper maintenance of the various monuments and the excavation sites.
Division Bench further observed that Adv Shamsi, appearing for the Archaeological Survey of India, submits that a response would be submitted to the e-mail, Annexure B to the status report, as early as possible. He has also once again assured the Court that the ASI shall give all possible assistance to the department in Jammu and Kashmir.
Division Bench further observed that as regards declaration of ‘Jalali Haveli’ as an heritage building, it has been indicated that the same can be done after an on spot inspection by the experts. Dar informed us that the inspection can be carried out within a week, however, this would be subject to informing the owners through Syed Manzoor, Advocate. (JNF)