J&K People’s Forum makes fresh application to HC

Prays its counsel be permitted to peruse Koul Commission’s report on 2010 killings

D A RASHID
Srinagar, Publish Date: Nov 14 2018 11:52PM | Updated Date: Nov 15 2018 2:47AM
J&K People’s Forum makes fresh application to HCRepresentational Pic

J&K People’s Forum, an NGO, has approached the High Court with a prayer that its counsel be permitted to peruse the Koul Commission’s report on 2010 killings. The report has been submitted by the government to the High Court in a sealed cover. 

The forum has filed an application through its General Secretary M M Shuja. 

Earlier, the forum had filed a Public Interest Litigation petition seeking directions for making public the findings of the Koul Commission.

The forum has also sought directions for implementing the recommendations of the Koul Commission on grant of compensation to the victim families.

“Since the recommendations of the Koul Commission have been submitted before this court in a sealed cover, the petitioner has therefore no access to the same,” the forum submits in the application. 

The forum submits that in keeping with the averments by the government that sensitivities are involved in the matter, “it has become necessary for the applicant to file a supplementary affidavit before this court”. 

“However, the supplementary affidavit cannot be comprehensively filed in absence of the access by the counsel appearing for the applicant to the recommendations of the Koul Commission,” the forum pleads. 

The counsel for the petitioner, the forum said, is an officer of the court and by all standards including procedure laid down in the CPC with regard to inspection of record, he is entitled under law to have access to the recommendations. 

On June 1, this year, the government had submitted in a sealed cover the summary report of Koul Commission on 2010 unrest killings. After perusing it, the court had re-sealed the report. 

Earlier, the government had said that keeping in view the sensitivities involved in the matter and the “security concerns” related to the case, the government cannot make public the recommendations.

Under the J&K Commission of Enquiry Act, 1962, the government had constituted a one-man commission headed by Justice (retd) ML Koul to probe the 2010 unrest killings.

As per sources, the commission in its findings has indicted government forces for firing upon demonstrators allegedly without magisterial orders and use of disproportionate force on protesters.

While, the commission has reportedly said that both administration and police were allegedly inactive and indolent in tackling the law and order situation, it has also recommended a CBI probe into the killing of a teenager Tufail Matto and registration of a murder case against police personnel involved in “torturing” Umar Qayoom of Soura to death.

Tufail's death, on 11 June 2010, by a teargas shell led to widespread protests and triggered an unrest in which more than 120 people were killed.

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