Saturday, February 4, 2023

Supreme Court dismisses plea seeking SIT probe into Kashmiri Pandit exodus

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The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a petition as withdrawn that sought investigation into the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from Jammu and Kashmir, besides targeted killings during the period between 1989 and 1990, by the Special Investigation Team (SIT).

The Bench headed by Justice B.R. Gavai said the Supreme Court was “not inclined” to entertain the petition, adding that similar pleas have been disposed of by the Apex Court in the past.

The petition was filed by Ashutosh Taploo, whose father and former BJP vice-president Tika Lal Taploo was killed by the terrorists of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) in Srinagar in 1989.

His death was followed by the alleged targeted killing of Kashmiri Pandit leaders and activists in Kashmir. This led to the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley in the 90s.

The Bench directed the petitioner to withdraw the plea and take recourse to appropriate remedies in law.

In March 2022, a Kashmiri Pandit organisation named ‘Roots in Kashmir’ had filed a curative petition in the Supreme Court against its July 24, 2017 verdict that disposed of a petition seeking probe into the ‘mass murders and genocide of Kashmiri Pandits during 1989-90 and subsequent years’ and the ‘reasons for non-prosecution of FIRs’ of the same.

The curative petition referred to the 2017 judgement of the Apex Court and the review petition against this on October 25, 2017, which had observed that more than 27 years had passed since the incidence and evidence was unlikely to be available.

The organisation contended that the Apex Court was not “justified” in dismissing the writ petition on presumption of evidence being unavailable due to the passage of time, and gave examples of cases, which involved incidences before 1990, to support its plea.

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