- Kashmiri Pandits were forced to flee the Kashmir valley due to terror threats
- The Kashmiri Pandits are a Saraswat Brahmin community from Kashmir
- According to reports 50,000 Kashmiri Hindus fled the Kashmir valley in 1990
- However a PIL was dismissed into the killings of hundreds of Hindus in Kashmir because ‘more than 27 years have passed’
By HARISH V NAIR
In a huge blow to the Kashmiri Pandit’s fight for justice, the Supreme Court has rejected their second plea for an investigation into the mass killing of community members in the late 80s, which resulted in their exodus from the Valley.
The order from a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and D Y Chandrachud came after a chamber hearing of the of review plea filed against the rejection of their earlier petition on July 24.
Kashmiri Pandits under the banner ‘Roots In Kashmir’ had questioned the recent SC order declining an investigation into the killings merely on the grounds that ‘it happened 27 years ago’.
In their review plea they cited the SC order to scrutinise SIT’s decision to close 241 cases related to anti-Sikh riots in 1984.
‘If the court can scrutinise each case of anti-Sikh riots which happened 33 years ago and order re-opening of the closed ones, why can they not order a probe into the killings of Kashmiri Pandits which took place 27 years ago? A total of 70 murders have been pardoned.
We are exploring the possibility of filing a curative petition,’ said Vikas Padora, the counsel for Roots in Kashmir. Curative petition is the last legal remedy after a review plea is dismissed.
‘The SC recently even admitted a petition to reopen the probe of assassination of Gandhi. They are also reopening anti-sikh riot cases. Then why this discrimination towards us citing the time lag of just 27 years? We will file a curative petition,’ said Amit Raina of ‘Roots in Kashmir’.
On July 24, a bench of the then CJI J S Khehar and Justice Chandrachud had dismissed the PIL ‘for the simple reason that the instances referred to in it pertain to 1989-90, and more than 27 years have passed’.
Drawing a parallel between the two orders, the pandit community had described the court’s stand as ‘travesty of justice’.
When Padora had argued before the bench that not a single FIR out of 215 registered cases was investigated by the State of Jammu & Kashmir, and the Union government also failed to take any measures to ensure justice to the families of victims or punish ‘terrorists like Yasin Malik’, the counsel was snubbed by the CJI for making a political speech.
The CJI asked him: ‘Where were you till now? Why are you coming to court now? Are you making a drama here? Are you making a political speech and saying all this for making headlines in the media?’ Padora told Mail Today, ‘By saying that no evidence is available now, the court is giving liberty to police officers and authorities not to investigate at all.
It is the duty of the police to say there is no evidence and file a closure report, and not of the court.
Source:Mail on line