Kashmir issue needs political solution: Supreme Court

Kashmir issue needs political solution: Supreme Court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court of India said on Monday that the Kashmir issue had various dimensions and should be dealt with politically. The court granted the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) time till Friday to file response to the Government of India’s status report on August 5 in which the situation in the Valley was stated to be improving.
The apex court asked the Solicitor General to help activist lawyer and Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) leader Bhim Singh to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue.
“This issue has various dimensions and therefore should be dealt with politically and, moreover, everything cannot be managed within the judicial parameters,” a bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur said. The bench, which also comprised Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, referred to a meeting on Monday between a delegation of the state’s opposition parties led by former chief minister Omar Abdullah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and asked Singh to join the delegation.
When Bhim Singh told the court that the “RSS-dictated” government would not invite him, the court was annoyed. “Don’t make a political statement here. You tell us whether you want to go and meet the political leadership or not,” the bench said.
The Solicitor General (SG) Ranjit Kumar said that he would “personally talk” to the home secretary to facilitate Bhim Singh’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In his plea, Singh, who sought various reliefs for Kashmir, also demanded imposition of Governor’s Rule in J&K.
At the outset, the SG said that the Jammu and Kashmir High Court was already seized of the matter and hence the plea, pending in the apex court, should be disposed of. The bench said that statements made by Bhim Singh may not be “relevant judicially” but they may be “relevant politically”.
Earlier, the GOI in its status report filed in the court on August 5, had said that the ‘law and order situation’ in the Valley had improved considerably, with incidents of violent protests having gone down from 201 on July 9 to 11 on August 3. The Valley has been witnessing a spate of violent protests following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
The GoI, in its report, had said that in view of the improved situation, curfew had been lifted from most parts of the Valley on July 30.
The Solicitor General, referring to the report, said that curfew was in force only in certain areas of three districts in the Valley. “Due to persistent efforts of the security forces/Jammu and Kashmir Police, the situation has shown remarkable improvement, with the number of incidents declining progressively since the outbreak of violent protests and clashes,” the SG said.
The bench said that “Bhim Singh, senior counsel for the petitioner, seeks some more time to respond to the status report filed by Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar.” The court posted the next hearing on the case on August 26 (Friday).

(With inputs from PTI)

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