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PIL wants to stop funding of separatists, SC says we share the feeling

Sharma sought a declaration that the funding is “unconstitutional and illegal” and must be stopped at once because the government cannot be allowed to provide money to those who are acting against the interest of the nation.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Updated: September 9, 2016 4:33:39 am
kashmir, kashmir separatists, kashmir separatists funding, J&K separatists funding, Jammu and Kashmir, Supreme Court, india news Supreme Court is pictured through a gate in New Delhi, India May 26, 2016. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

Observing that it “shares the same feeling”, the Supreme Court Thursday agreed to hear a PIL seeking an immediate stop on monetary aid and other facilities being provided by the government to separatist groups in Jammu and Kashmir.

“We also share the same feeling… everybody sitting here feels the same,” a bench led by Justice Anil R Dave said when Delhi lawyer M L Sharma sought intervention of the Supreme Court.

Agreeing to list the PIL on September 14, the bench asked Sharma to complete all the formalities before the registry so that the petition could be heard next week.

In his petition, Sharma cited various media reports that questioned grant of funds to separatists for travel, accommodation, logistics and other purposes. He sought a declaration that the impugned funding is “unconstitutional and illegal”, and that it must be stopped at once because the government cannot be allowed to provide money to those who are acting against the interest of the nation.

“In fact, just over the last five years, India has spent Rs 356 crore on these separatists’ security, travel and hotel stays. The government has also spent Rs 21 crore on putting up these separatists in luxury hotels and Rs 26.43 crore on fuel for them to travel around and spread their anti-India venom,” the petition stated.

The PIL claimed that this expenditure was levied on taxpayers without informing Parliament and added that the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) never adduced audit reports on how these funds were spent while the money was used to wage war against the country.
Sharma has sought initiation of criminal prosecution against officials and others who illegally authorised release of this money from the Consolidated Fund of India. The PIL, while making Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Jammu and Kashmir government and CBI as parties, claimed this was a case relating to offence of corruption over misuse of public office and fund.

It also sought a direction to the MHA and the J&K government asking them not to “release/provide” any fund either from “the Consolidated Fund of India or state treasury” under any “heads or object”.

The plea also sought a direction to the CBI to register an FIR against the “impugned release of fund from Consolidated Fund of India without authority and valid permission for supporting separatist group working against the country and to conduct investigation… and file the report before this court for further action”.

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