SC seeks status report on ground situation in Kashmir

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Friday asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar for a status report on the ground situation in the Kashmir Valley as it said that it could not ask the state governor to assume the reins of the administration.

Seeking the report, a bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur, Justice A. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud told the petitioner, the J&K National Panthers Party, that they “can’t direct the Governor to assume the reigns of the state administration”.

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“Situation at the grounds changes in hours, these are not the issues that could be judicially dealt with,” Chief Justice Thakur told senior counsel Bhim Singh who also heads the party, and was appearing for it.

The Panthers Party had moved the top court on July 22 seeking the imposition of Governor’s rule in the state on the ground of paralysis of administration. It had referred to Section 93 of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution that empowers the Governor to assume all the powers to run the state by placing the government and the assembly under suspension.

Asking Bhim Singh “in what way your (petitioner’s) fundamental rights were violated”, the bench warned that the court would come down very heavily on the party if it tried to derive political mileage from the court proceedings.

“Make sure you don’t take any political mileage of the court proceedings. We will come down very heavily if we know that you are making political mileage,” Chief Justice Thakur told Bhim Singh.

“You are a political person. Go and sort out these issues in public, not in the court,” the CJI told Bhim Singh, asking him when was it last he had gone to Kashmir, pointing out that in last one year he had not gone to Kashmir valley.

As senior counsel told the court that children could not go to their schools, the bench said: “Ok, they have not gone to schools, because situation has been such.”

Fixing the hearing in the next week, the bench told Bhim Singh: “You bring one person who could not go to hospital on account of recent turbulence.”

A total of 50 people, including 48 civilians and two policemen, have been killed since July 9, a day after the gunning down of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani by security forces.