The Supreme Court today asked the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association to respond to the issues raised by the Centre which defended the use of pellet guns to quell stone-pelting mobs in Kashmir valley, stressing that the lawyers’ body cannot take sides.
The apex court sought the Bar’s response after the Centre explained to the Supreme Court the circumstances under which security forces use measures like pellet guns. The apex court told the Bar it has to play a very important role in assisting the court in evolving a solution and cannot take sides.
The Bar is neither on the side of the security forces nor on the mob’s side, the court said and gave two weeks time to the lawyers’ body to come out with its submission so that a solution can be found and asked it to file an affidavit. The matter has now been posted for April 28.
The apex court noted the submission of Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohatgi that the security forces try to use minimum forces to avoid any damage to life and property and eventually use pellet guns and live ammunition in the final stage when the mob comes in immediate proximity to the security forces.
The bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar also took into consideration the submission made by Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association, Srinagar which contended that the Centre was not coming out with a clear-cut scenario and expressed its willingness to assist the court.
The bench reminded the Bar that it has to play a very important role in assisting the court in evolving the solution as the lawyers in the Bar were privileged people.
The apex court had on March 27 expressed concern over the pellet gun injuries suffered by minors who indulged in stone pelting in Jammu and Kashmir and asked the Centre to consider other effective means to quell the protests as it concerns “life and death”.
It had conceded that though the use of pellet guns by the security forces was not a judicial issue, it can intervene in the matter to find a solution acceptable to parties concerned.
During the last hearing, the bench had expressed its concern over minors indulging in stone pelting and suffering injuries during protests. It had asked the Centre to find some alternative measures to deal with such situations so that kids do not get injured.