Supreme Court declines to hear plea on Shopian encounter

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a Public Interest Litigation seeking probe by a SIT into the killing of three persons from Rajouri allegedly in an encounter in Shopian in July.

Seeing pictures of those killed in the encounter on social media, the Rajouri families had claimed the slain to be their kin who according to them had gone to Shopian for work.

Advocate Salih Pirzada who represented the petitioner before the SC told Greater Kashmir that as the plea came up for hearing today, a three judge bench of justices Sanjay Krishan Kaul, Anirudh Bose and Krishna Murari asked him why the petitioner had not first approached the J&K High Court.

“I informed the bench that the same petitioner had filed a writ petition before the J&K High Court (on a different matter) related to the custodial killing of a school principal, Rizwan Pandit, but the government is yet to file the response to the plea despite passing of one year and after one year we cannot expect the required examination of the body,” he said.

The bench, Salih said, however remarked that it cannot circumvent the J&K High Court. He said the bench gave him an option either to withdraw the petition and approach J&K High Court or it would be dismissed. “I withdrew the petition” he said.

The PIL was filed by Jammu & Kashmir Reconciliation Front through its chairman Dr Sandeep Mawa who is a resident member of minority Kashmiri Pandit community.

The PIL sought a probe into the killing of trio Abrar Ahmad, Imtiyaz Ahmad and Abrar Ahmad who were allegedly slain in Shopian encounter on July 18.

It also sought a direction for investigation by a SIT consisting of members other than from J&K Police, to be monitored by Supreme Court.

The petitioner had alleged that the Government of Jammu and Kashmir has customarily ignored the mandate of law judicially evolved by the Supreme Court to contain, prevent, investigate or penalize the custodial killings and fake encounters “which is predominant in the instant case”.