Let retired Kashmiri bureaucrats live in govt quarters: HC to Centre | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Let retired Kashmiri bureaucrats live in govt quarters: HC to Centre

The Delhi high court on Friday directed the Centre to allow 26 retired Kashmiri brureacrats, mostly pundits who are unable to return to their native state owing to threats from terrorists to retain their official residence till they were provided an alternative accommodation.

delhi Updated: Jun 01, 2012 21:23 IST
Harish V Nair

The Delhi high court on Friday directed the Centre to allow 26 retired Kashmiri brureacrats, mostly pundits who are unable to return to their native state owing to threats from terrorists to retain their official residence till they were provided an alternative accommodation.

The court said if there was no sufficient accommodation for them in Delhi, they may be provided houses anywhere in National Capital Region Noida, Gurgaon or Faridabad.

A Bench headed by acting chief justice AK Sikri and justice RS Endlaw gave the order while dismissing an appeal filed by the centre against a single judge order of November 30 last year allowing them to retain their official residence till normalcy was restored in the state.

"Make all endeavours to adequately, effectively and reasonably rehabilitate and resettle these people who are internally displaced within the country”, said the court. Three of the bureaucrats were IB officials urgently airlifted with family from Srinagar to Delhi due to threats from terrorists a decade ago. Another, a senior staff with All India Radio who ran a pro-India programme to combat media propaganda of Pakistan. Angry ultras announced a reward of Rs. two lakh for his head.

Quashing eviction proceedings against the retired Kashmiri bureaucrats, the single judge had slammed the Centre for asking them to vacate their official accommodation without taking steps to restore normalcy in the state. Painting a grim picture of the situation in Kashmir, the court referred to the "ethnic cleansing of a minority community from the Valley"

Centre’s counsel Jatan Singh had argued that “Single judge had come to a conclusion that right to shelter of every person has been recognized as an essential part of right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. But that cannot be applicable to government accommodation which at present is not in sufficient numbers even for serving officials”. But the division bench did not find merit in the argument and said these bureaucrats needed to be supported in their hour of crisis.

BL Wali, lawyer for the Kashmiri babus said: “These officials who were working in extremely dangerous situations have been left to defend themselves post retirement despite Supreme Court’s orders that centre had an obligation to ensure their protection till they can ensure normalcy in Jammu and Kashmir”.