Buoyed by the rising support for them in the wake of stupendous success of the film The Kashmir Files, “Roots in Kashmir” – a Kashmiri Pandits organization has filed a fresh petition in the Supreme Court seeking probe into the killings of Kashmiri Pandits during the height of militancy in the valley during the 1990s.
The petition has been filed against the 2017 Supreme Court dismissal the organization’s petition for probe citing long delay.
A division bench of the Supreme Court of India comprising the then Chief Justice JS Khehar and Justice DY Chandrachud had on July 24, 2017 dismissed the petition saying “no evidence will be available after 27 years. What happened is heart wrenching but we can’t pass orders now”.
Subsequently, the review petition against the verdict was dismissed on October 24, 2017.
The organization now seeks to reopen the case through an option of ‘curative petition’ made available by the apex court in a 1994 verdict in the matter of Rupa Asok Hurra v Ashok Hurra.
A curative petition is the last judicial resort available to the victims for redressal of grievances. The curative petition has to be filed with a Certificate signed by a Senior advocate – vouching for the injustice or aggrievement not earlier addressed by the court.
It is decided by the judges in-chamber.
The certificate for filing curative petition was issued by President, Supreme Court Bar Association, and former Additional Solicitor General Vikas Singh.
The plea has prayers to seek the following:
– Investigation and prosecution of terrorists like Yasin Malik and Farooq Ahmed Daar @ Bitta Karate, Javed Nalka and others, for of murder of Kashmiri Pandits during 1989- 90, 1997 and 1998, and which are lying un-investigated by J&K Police even after expiry of 26 years;
– Transfer of investigation of all the FIR’s/cases of murder and other allied crimes against Kashmiri Pandits in year 1989-90, 1997 and 1998, to an independent investigating agency like CBI or NIA or any other agency;
– Transfer of all the FIR’s/cases pertaining to murders of Kashmiri Pandits, from State of J&K to some other State (preferably State of NCT of Delhi), so that the witnesses, who were reluctant to approach police or Courts in view of their safety concerns, can freely and fearlessly come and depose before Investigating agencies and Courts;
– Completion of trial and prosecution of Yasin Malik for gruesome murder of 4 officers of Indian Air Force on the morning of January 25, 1990, which is currently pending before CBI Court;
– Appointment of an independent committee or Commission to investigate into the mass murders and genocide of Kashmiri Pandits during 1989-90 and subsequent years, and also to investigate the reasons for non-prosecution of FIR’s of murders of Kashmiri Pandits and Court monitored-investigation so that the hundreds of FIR’s can reach their logical conclusion without any further delay.
Now it is up to a bench of three senior most judges of the Supreme Court of India. If at least two of the three judges think there is merit in the petition, it will be listed for a decision by the bench, which will be done in chambers.