HC defers hearing on PIL filed in aftermath of floods

Srinagar: The J&K Kashmir High Court on Monday deferred hearing in a Public Interest Litigation, seeking systematic relief of distribution and urgent payment of compensation to flood victims in the state.
As the PIL filed by two lawyers came for hearing before a division bench of Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey, Additional Advocate General S A Naik for state sought its dismal, submitting that Supreme Court of India is already seized of the matter and it has already passed detailed order on the subject.
The apex court has already asked government to ensure ‘adequate’ supplies of essential in the state and has sought the status report about the measures taken in the aftermath of floods by Wednesday when it has posted the petitions on similar subject for the consideration.
The government also submitted a detailed reply to the petition, rebutting almost all contentions alleging “tardy response” by the government in the aftermath of worst floods in the state in more than a century.
However, the petitioners—advocates G A Lone and Jahangir Iqbal Ganie rejected the government reply, submitting the reply was to in tune with the situation existing on the ground.
The situation continues to be grim and flood affected are people have been left to fend for themselves, they said.
“Animal carcasses continue to float stagnant waters in many areas and affected people still crave for ration and other supplies,” they said, urging the court to reject the report filed by the government.
They emphasized on dewatering of various affected areas immediately and restoration of medical facilities.
Assistant solicitor General of India, Advocate S A Makroo also prayed for dismissal of the PIL even as he clarified that Government of India has declared the floods as national disaster as announced by the Prime Minister of India during his visit to the state soon after the deluge.
“Central government employees have been asked to remain should to shoulder with people affected by the floods,” Makroo said.
The High Court is operating from official quarter of one of the judges at Gupkar Sonawar here and the make-shift arrangement was made by Chief Justice after government “failed” to arrange the suitable place to allow it discharge the constitutional obligation.
The details about court proceedings were divulged by counsel for parties as reporters could not make it the courtroom due to paucity of space in the make-shift court.
Earlier, Chief Justice M M Kumar and three other judges—Justices Mohammad Yaqoob Mir, Hasnain Massodi and Ali Mohammad Magrey visited the flood ravaged premises of the High Court at Jahangir Chowk. The Chief Justice asked the staff present on the occasion to salvage as much as court record possible. The Chief Justice also asked staff to ensure attendance and warned of action against absentees.