Use of pellet guns on protesters: SC posts another date for hearing Bar plea

Use of pellet guns on protesters: SC posts another date for hearing Bar plea

SRINAGAR: The Supreme Court of India has posted after four weeks a petition filed by Kashmir High Court Bar Association, seeking ban on use of pellet guns in the state.
“Post for hearing after four weeks,” said a division bench of Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice NV Ramana. The case is likely to come for hearing on March 6.
On December 14, apex court said that pellet guns should not be used “indiscriminately” for controlling street protests in the state and be resorted to only after “proper application of mind” by the authorities.
The court had also sought assistance of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi on the issue and asked him to submit copy of the report submitted by the Expert Committee constituted in July last year by Indian Home Ministry for exploring other alternatives to pellet guns in Valley.
In the special leave petition, the lawyers’ body has challenged the rejection of its plea by high court, calling for ban on pellet guns.
The High Court had cited the ground situation and observed that as long as there was violence by unruly mobs, use of force was inevitable.
“It is manifest that so long as there is violence by unruly mobs, use of force is inevitable. What kind of force has to be used at the relevant point of time or in a given situation or place, has to be decided by the persons in-charge of the place where the attack is happening,” the court had said, underlining that it cannot, without any finding rendered by the competent forum or authority, decide as to whether the use of force in particular incident was excessive or not.
The high court had also declined the Bar’s plea to prosecute the officers who ordered use of pellet guns or fired them even as it directed the authorities to provide adequate medical treatment to the injured by specialists in or outside the state.
At least ten persons have already lost life due to the pellets while more than six hundred have been rendered blind, partially or fully. Thousands of others have suffered other multiple injuries, mainly due to munitions, during the uprising following the killing of Hizb commander Burhan Wani on July 8 last year.