The BJP-led NDA government on Monday protested the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association (Srinagar)’s stand before the Supreme Court “questioning the accession of the state to India”. “They are questioning the very accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India…. They have described it as mysterious…. They say all the elections in the state were rigged. This is the stand taken by members of the bar,” Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar told a bench of Chief Justice of India J S Khehar and Justice D Y Chandrachud during the hearing of an appeal filed by the association, demanding a ban on pellet guns in quelling protests in the Valley.
The High Court had rejected the bar body’s plea seeking a ban on use of pellet guns on the ground that the Centre had already set up a committee of experts through its memorandum of July 26, 2016, for exploring alternatives to pellet guns. Kumar was responding to the association’s charge that the Centre had not yet talked to all the groups concerned in the state.
The solicitor-general pointed out that during the last date of hearing, the court had asked the association to come up with suggestions on how to bring peace back to the state. This was also echoed by the CJI, who asked the petitioner’s counsel: “Have you used your good offices? We told you to use your good offices (to restore peace).” The court also noted: “We have not heard of stone-pelting for a long time.” The SC has now set October 4 to finally hear both sides and decide the matter.