SC likely to pass directive on use of pellet guns in J-K next year

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that it would pass a directive likely by January 18 next year on whether pellet guns can be fired upon protestors in Jammu and Kashmir.

The top court expressed shock and pulled up the petitioner, the Jammu and Kashmir Bar Association (JKBA), for submitting an affidavit, which had questioned the state’s accession to India.

The apex court earlier on April 28 had asked the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association (JKHCBA) to talk to various stakeholders and consider their opinion in connection with the plea against the use of pellet guns in the state.

The apex court asked the association leaders to get names of the people, who can hold talks with the Centre for the resolution of the present situation in the state.

The JKHCBA was also asked to assure the top court that stone-pelting wouldn’t be resorted to in the future if they want prohibition against the use of pellet guns.

The apex court had also asked the Centre to consider effective means other than use of pellet guns to quell stone-pelting mobs in Jammu and Kashmir as it concerns life and death.

The Kashmir High Court Bar Association (KHBA) had alleged that the pellet guns were being ‘misused’ in Kashmir while handling the protestors.

The case was filed in the wake of several lives lost during last year’s unrest in the Kashmir Valley. Around 78 people lost their lives and over 100 people were injured, several critically, in Jammu and Kashmir last year due to the use of pellet guns, the JKHCBA claimed in its petition.

The division bench of the Supreme Court had, in December last year, admitted the petition for hearing and directed the Central Government to submit the report of the team of experts constituted on the use of pellet guns before the court.

Earlier in July 2016, the Centre constituted a team to recommend suitable replacement for pellet guns. A seven-member expert committee set up for exploring other possible alternatives to pellet guns as non-lethal weapons submitted its report to Union Home Secretary in August.

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