J&K lawyer’s stand on Kashmir’s accession to India irks Supreme Court

The Jammu and Kashmir high court bar association has challenged the state high court’s order refusing to ban use of pellet guns.

Chief Justice Dipak Misra’s bench took strong exception on Wednesday to Jammu and Kashmir high court bar association’s affidavit questioning the state’s accession to India and said it’s a mistake that the Supreme Court had asked reasons for protests in Kashmir.

“If this court really wanted to know that (reasons for stone-pelting and protests), then it’s a mistake,” Justice Misra said when the association justified the contents of its affidavit. Justices DY Chandrachud and AM Khanwilkar were the other members.

“We are slightly shocked at the affidavit. How is it relevant to your appeal here?” the court asked from the association, which has challenged the state high court’s order refusing to ban use of pellet guns. Extensive use of pellets on agitators led to scores of youngsters losing eyesight permanently, the association has placed before the SC.

Association president advocate Abdul Qayoom said the affidavit was filed “in response to the court’s keenness to know why the people were protesting”. “Therefore, we pointed out the historical facts,” the lawyer said.

On April 28, a bench headed by then Chief Justice JS Khehar had asked the association to initiate a roadmap to end violence and bring normalcy in the state.

The bar defended the stand taken after solicitor general Ranjit Kumar objected to the affidavit’s maintainability. “They have questioned the accession of the J&K to India. This affidavit has no connection with the issue raised in the appeal,” he said.

The court did not accept the association’s request to refer the matter back to the HC in the wake of a fresh standard operating procedure the Centre has laid down for the use of pellets. It has fixed January 18 for final hearing..