HC tells army to pay Rs 10 lakh to family of ‘missing’ man
The Jammu and Kashmir high court has stepped in for the first time to award compensation in a militancy-related case, citing the violation of a family’s constitutional right to life and liberty.india Updated: Apr 05, 2011 23:55 IST
The Jammu and Kashmir high court has stepped in for the first time to award compensation in a militancy-related case, citing the violation of a family’s constitutional right to life and liberty.
Justice FM Ibrahim Kaifulla, who will shortly take over as chief justice, has ordered the army to pay Rs 10 lakh to the mother of a man by the name Mushtaq Ahmad Dar, who had allegedly disappeared from soldiers’ custody after being arrested in 1997. His family to date has no news of him.
Dar was then 20 and the only earning member of the family. He was living with mother Azizi and two minor brothers. “This case falls within the parameters of violation of the right under Article 21 of the Constitution, which shocked the conscience of this court,” Justice Kaifullah added.
The court has instructed defence secretary Pradeep Kumar to pay the compensation within eight weeks of the order. The court also directed police to proceed with the case, and has asked them to file the final report within three months before the trial court.
Mir Shafaqat Hussain, the lawyer who represented Azizi, said: “The judgment is the end of a long fight for 70-year-old Azizi, who had filed a petition in 1999. We have been following the case since then and are glad the family has got justice.”
On April 13, 1997, the army arrested Dar on the outskirts of Srinagar. “He was beaten in the presence of his family members (and) interrogated in one of the rooms of the house while the other family members were locked in another room ….” the judgment said.
The judgment further read the next day Azizi approached the army unit, which had admitted to having Dar in its custody and promised to release him. However, the unit later retracted from its earlier position.