Srinagar: The J&K government on Friday filed the summary of recommendations of the Koul Commission report on the 2010 killings in a sealed cover before the High Court and requested for closing of the public-interest litigation (PIL) into the matter.
Defending the government response to the PIL, Additional Advocate General BA Dar told the High Court that the Koul Commission’s recommendations have been implemented and so the court is requested to close the PIL.
In response to this submission, Advocate Shafqat Nazir representing the petitioner organisation, People’s Forum, said the Koul Commission’s proceedings being judicial in nature are bound to be made public. He submitted before the court that the recommendations have neither been made public nor implemented in full.
A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice MK Hanjura took the summary of the recommendations on record but didn’t close the PIL. The court fixed the next hearing on July 10.
On the previous hearing, the state government had informed the court that the Koul Commission report could not be made public due to “security concerns” and “sensitivities”.
“In keeping with the sensitivities involved in the matter and the security concerns related to the case, the government cannot make public the recommendations,” the government had told the court.
The government told the court that it had considered several confidence-building measures, which included sanction of special ex-gratia relief of Rs 5 lakh by the Government of India, besides the state government’s Rs 1 lakh compensation for family of each person killed during the mass unrest from June 11, 2010 to September 25, 2010.
In response to this contention, Advocate Shafqat Nazir had said, “No one knows what recommendations were made by the Koul Commission. If these are not made public, it will be a violation of court directions.”
The government vide SRO no 176 dated June 20, 2014, constituted the one-man Koul Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice (Rtd) ML Koul to probe the circumstances leading to the deaths by firing in Kashmir during the 2010 mass unrest.
As per media reports, the Commission in its findings indicted the government forces for firing upon demonstrators without magisterial orders and using disproportionate force on protesters.
While the Commission has reportedly said that both the administration and the police were “inactive” and “indolent” in tackling the law and order situation, it has also recommended a CBI probe into the killing of a teenager, Tufail Matoo, and registration of a murder case against police personnel involved in “torturing” Umar Qayoom of Soura to death. Tufail’s death, on June 11, 2010, by a teargas shell led to widespread protests and triggered an unrest in which more than 120 people were killed.