SC tells Modi govt to report on Kashmir

The Supreme Court has sought a status report from the Centre on availability of basic amenities, including health services, to Kashmir residents even as a PIL by Panthers Party sought imposition of governor's rule and dissolution of the assembly .
A bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud asked solicitor general Ranjit Kumar to file the Centre's status report after Panthers Party chief Bhim Singh gauged the court's reluctance to entertain his petition for imposition of governor's rule and swiftly changed his plea for protecting the right to life of Kashmiris. “We will call for a status report from the Centre through the solicitor general to know what is the ground reality and the difficulties faced by people. The situation there changes every day . We can only take those matters concerning people including transportation of patients to hospital and the amenities available to them in hospitals,“ it said.
Normally , the SC asks a petitioner who brings up issues concerning a state to move the high court concerned on the ground that the HC would be in a better position to deal with the issue, being familiar with the ground situation. But the bench headed by Justice Thakur made an exception for Jammu and Kashmir.
The four prayers in the PIL were -impose governor's rule to secure safety and fundamental rights of citizens in J&K, dissolve the assembly as it has failed to discharge its duties and functions evident from the present situation, order resumption of Amarnath yatra and a direction to ensure safety and security of citizens in J&K. Given the bench's benevolence in entertaining the PIL despite disagreeing, Bhim Singh made a political speech.“Why should the citizens in Kashmir Valley suffer pellet injuries? Many have lost their eyesight. India has bought these pellet guns from Israel to turn it on our boys. Kashmir is Indian territory and India must treat it with compassion. No one should get shot in the eyes by pellet guns,“ Singh said, making it known to the bench that he had always supported the cause of Palestine, which has a running feud with Israel on demarcation of territory .
The bench did not take kindly to Singh's political speech. “Do not take political mileage of your PIL or the court proceedings. If we find you doing so, we will come down heavily on you,“ the bench warned. Hours after the hearing, the Panthers Party issued a press release saying Singh visited the pellet-hit Kashmiri boys admitted to AIIMS for treatment and assured them that he would fight for them.
In the eight-page petition, the Panthers Party devoted just one page on the difficulties faced by the people quoting newspaper reports. “Newspapers are shut. Mobile telephones services are shut. More than five million people are caged inside their houses in conditions worse than jails as there is acute shortage of food, water and medicines. This is total violation of right to life guaranteed under Article 21 which extends to J&K despite the special status granted to the state under Article 370 of the Constitution,“ he said. “Several Indian citizens have died of bullet injuries. There is hunger, starvation and panic. Educational institutions are shut for more than two weeks. There is no security to patients, women, children and handicapped. In short, there is total chaos in the entire valley ,“ the petitioner said.

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