SC pitches for a political solution in Kashmir

There are certain dimensions to the problem which the court cannot decide judicially, says CJI

Updated - November 17, 2021 04:53 am IST

Published - August 23, 2016 01:39 am IST - NEW DELHI:

Noting that the judiciary has its limits, the Supreme Court indicated on Monday that a political solution across party lines might probably bring peace to Kashmir, where street clashes between security forces and mobs and curfew continued to choke normality.

Referring to the Opposition parties’ talks with the Centre as an effort in the right direction, a Bench led by Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur said such talks offered more chances of reaching a well-rounded solution than court hearings did.

“There are certain dimensions to the problem which the court cannot decide judicially. These issues find resolution in such meetings which are happening, like between the Prime Minister and the Opposition, where all stakeholders get to be heard,” Chief Justice Thakur said.

The hearing came on a writ petition filed by the Jammu and Kashmir Panthers Party, represented by its leader and senior lawyer, Bhim Singh, highlighting the sufferings of the people and seeking judicial intervention. Mr. Singh said the people of Kashmir “continue to live in the shadow of the gun”. Solicitor-General Ranjit Kumar said Mr. Singh was yet to file his response to the Centre’s status report, filed on August 5, which said the situation had shown a “remarkable improvement”.

‘Not a political platform’

It was at this point the Chief Justice asked Mr. Singh why he did not join the Opposition parties in the meeting with the Prime Minister. When Mr. Singh tried to make a political comment against the government, the CJI cut him short, saying the court was not a “political platform”.

In its report, the Centre said that despite the violent fallout of the killing of three Hizb-ul Mujahideen terrorists, including Burhan Wani, normality was returning.

The Centre accused social media of inflaming passions after the killing of the terrorists. It said the public address systems of some mosques were used to raise “pro-freedom slogans” to incite youth.

Stressing that the Centre and the State had not failed the people of the Valley, the Home Ministry said curfew was initially imposed in 10 of the 22 districts, but was now reduced to some areas.

The report showed that security forces and civilians had clashed 872 times between July 9 and August 3. During this period, 2,656 civilians had been admitted to hospital and 58 major eye surgeries done to save their eyesight.

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