Why FIRs not filed in all killings? HC asks Govt
Srinagar, Jan 31: After considering the Public Interest Litigation filed by Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik on 117 killings during last year’s unrest, the High Court Monday directed the state government to submit a report within two weeks why FIRs have not been registered in all the killings.
The Division Bench of High Court comprising Justice Muhammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice Hakeem Imtiyaz Hussain sought reasons from Director General of Police for not registering cases in 80 killings. Besides, the court directed the DGP to inform it about the present stage of investigation in 37 registered cases.
“The Investigation Officers of the registered cases shall file the detailed status reports through DGP about the steps taken during the investigation,” the court said.
Court also issued notice to families of the deceased persons urging them to file response, if any, to the present petition. “A notice shall be issued to them through publication in local dailies having wide circulation informing them about filing of the present petition in the court,” court said.
On January 14, Malik filed a PIL through senior counsel Zaffar Shah in the High Court seeking directions to the government for registering First Information Report into unregistered cases and monitoring of the investigation in cases where FIR has been filed.
Malik also sought constitution of a Commission of Inquiry (COI) to probe into the 117 killings allegedly by forces during the past year’s summer unrest.
Malik said the COI constituted by the state government in July 2010 to probe 17 out of 117 killings was selective. “The questions holding true for the 17 killings referred to by the COI, also hold true for other deaths,” he said.
Malik said: “The 117 deaths have been caused patently in contravention of law and no legislation guarantees immunity to any armed personnel against causing death in civil action.”
The killings in which the probe has been sought include those in Machil fake encounter as well.
In the petition, Malik said it has been admitted by the state government that the deaths are a matter of public importance. “So to enquire into them, it is necessary for the government to constitute the COI,” he said.
Malik submitted that it has become necessary for the court to ensure that proper evidence is collected, killers identified and their prosecution sought.
Malik also sought constitution of high level Committee to suggest ways and means of preventing such deaths in future and to lay down norms to be publicly observed by the armed personnel before resorting to firing against demonstrators.
The petitioner qualified these deaths as “murder within the meaning of law” and sought punishment against the involved persons.
Petitioner sought use of rubber bullets or water canons instead of lead bullets to disperse the peaceful demonstrators.
“The methodology used in confronting the public demonstrations was the same as are used to combat military operations. The persons killed were totally unarmed,” he said.
Malik sought direction to the government that in the event any situation requires resort to firing, it shall not be done without the permission of a magistrate.
He said the armed forces detailed by the central government to assist the state police also claim immunity from prosecution under the provisions of AFSPA, 1990.
Petitioner said separate General Security Forces Courts were established by the government for trying centre forces involved in any offence. “The state police, though subject to civil courts, is primarily responsible for moving criminal machinery for investigation of offences,” he said.
Malik has sought declaration from the court that if the armed personnel are found guilty of any act of omission and commission attracting panel provisions, they would not be entitled to claim immunity under AFSPA.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 31 Jan 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 31 Jan 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 1 Feb 2011 00:00:00 IST
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