HC grants time to State

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, Mar 20: The State High Court today granted further time to Government for making public the report of Koul Commission on 2010 killings in the State.
The time has been granted by the Division Bench of Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Justice D S Thakur after the Court has been informed that vide communication of March 19 forwarded by Home Department which says that Justice M L Koul (Retired Judge), one Man Commission of enquiry to the killings in 2010 had submitted the report which was examined in consultation with the General Administration Department, Police Head Quarters and Deputy Commissioner Srinagar.
Court has been further informed that based on the consultation and the inputs and details furnished by the concerned, the matter has been referred to the GAD for placing it before the Cabinet.
“According to senior AAG, in view of this development, further time may be granted for filing the status report. Be filed by or before next date”, the DB directed.
The Public Interest Litigation has been filed by NGO (Peoples Forum) through its Secretary M M Shuja seeking a direction to State Government to make the report of “Koul Commission” and its follow up action in public.
It is submitted in the petition that during the unrest of 2010 in Kashmir valley about 120 killings of youth were reported which led to public resentment and in consequence of which Government constituted a commission of enquiry under the J & K Commission of Enquiry Act comprising retired Justice M L Koul.
“That media report suggest that the Commission besides pin pointing the responsibilities has also made several recommendations to redress the grievance of the victim families’ whose kins have either died or injured in the unrest”, the petition read.
However, petitioner submitted that the State has not so far either made the report public or disclosed as to what action it has taken or contemplated to be taken to mitigate the sufferings of the victims with the result that the society at large carries an impression that constitution of such Commission is an exercise in futility.
“Such impression is not only detrimental to the peace and security in the State but also speaks volumes about the transparency and accountability of the system and of those managing the system”, mentioned the PIL.
It has been submitted before the court that the respondent state is under a constitutional obligation to make the report public so that any lapse pointed out in the report is taken note of.
The petitioner sought direction from the Court to command the State to make public the report submitted by the “Koul Commission” as also submit the action taken report with respect to findings of the Commission.