Srinagar: The J&K High court on Thursday asked senior counsel Zaffar Shah to produce the Supreme Court order on pellet guns, after Shah told court that the apex court has passed directions that it would hear ‘the ban on pellets guns in Kashmir’, while cases with respect to compensation of victims and probe into the incidents would be heard by High Court.
The counsel was directed to file copy of the order before court by 16 March, 2018.
Hearing the petition on pellet guns, the division bench comprising Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey remarked that they can proceed only after perusing the Apex court’s order.
On December 14, the Supreme Court had said that the pellet guns should not be used “indiscriminately” for controlling street protests in Jammu and Kashmir and be resorted to only after “proper application of mind” by the authorities.
A bench headed by the then Chief Justice T S Thakur had issued notices to the Government of India and J&K seeking their replies on a plea alleging “excessive” use of pellet guns in the state.
The top court had also sought assistance of Attorney General on the issue and asked him to submit copy of the report submitted by the Expert Committee constituted for exploring other alternatives to pellet guns.
The appeal was filed by Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association against the High Court order seeking stay on the use of pellet guns as a large number of people had been killed or injured due to its use.
On September 22, J&K High court had rejected the plea seeking a ban on use of pellet guns on the ground that the GoI had already constituted a Committee of Experts through its memorandum dated July 26, 2016 for exploring alternatives to pellet guns.
The High Court had disposed of the petition, saying that no further direction was required since the matter was being looked at by the Centre.
The bar association challenged the order, contending that High Court should not have disposed the petition and instead waited or called for the report of the expert committee. The High Court had also declined to accept the plea to prosecute the officers who ordered use of pellet guns and those who actually fired them.