Koul Comm report can’t be made public: Govt

Excelsior Correspondent
SRINAGAR, May 8: The High Court today directed the State Government to submit the recommendations made by Justice Koul Commission on 2010 killings before the Court after Government expressed reservations in making it public in the national interest and security of State.
The Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice Sanjeev Kumar directed the Government to place the recommendation which have been made by the one man enquiry commission with regard to killings of 2010 unrest in a sealed cover in view of the sensitivity and security concern as submitted by the State counsel, before the next date of hearing.
Hearing Public Interest apart from seeking other directions, the petitioner prayed that the recommendations which have been made by Justice Koul be made public, the court for the time being sought the recommendations before the court but in a sealed cover.
Advocate Shafkat Nazir, appearing counsel in the PIL, submitted before the Court that it is since from December last year, the State Government is seeking time in the matter. He submitted before the court that a portion of recommendation was leaked and published in media and as such the petitioner-Peoples Forum (NGO) has approached the court that the report of Koul Commission be made public.
State Counsel B A Dar (AAG) submitted before the court that it (report) cannot be made public in National Interests and for the security of the State. He however, informed the Court that as per the directions of court passed in previous PIL in this regard, Rs 6 lakhs have been paid to all the victim families whose kith and kin died during the 2010 unrest.
Advocate Dar further added that after the recommendations made by EOC have been implemented with opting Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) and ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakhs from Union Government and 1 lakh from State Government have been paid to the families of those who got killed during the unrest.
Petitioner advocate referring to the objections filed in opposition to the PIL submitted that the enquiry conducted by the one man Commission was a judicial proceeding and why not the same be made public, when it is a public document. With regard to compensation paid to the victim families, he submitted that the compensation to the victim families be provided as per the recommendation of Commission.
It may be mentioned here that court has already in 2015 closed the PIL filed by an advocate with the direction to Government to pay compensation to the families of those who got killed in 2010 unrest. Advocate Dar informed the court that Government has paid compensation to 107 victim families.
Court, earlier, was informed 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 unrest 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 the same before the Cabinet.
The Public Interest has been filed by NGO (Peoples Forum) through its Secretary M M Shuja seeking a direction on 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 engaged public resentment. The then coalition Government (NC-Congress) constituted a commission of enquiry under the J & K Commission of Enquiry Act comprising retired Justice ML Koul.