SC issues notices to Centre, J&K Govt seeking protection for Kashmir pandits
A Bench headed by Justice KG Balakrishnan asked the Centre and the J&K Government to respond within four weeks, reports Satya Prakash.india Updated: Nov 25, 2006 00:43 IST
The Supreme Court on Friday issued notices to the Centre and Jammu & Kashmir Government on a petition seeking constitutional protection to the life and property of over 3.5 lakh Kashmiri pandits forced to leave the valley due to terrorism.
A Bench headed by Justice KG Balakrishnan asked the Centre and the J&K Government to respond within four weeks to the PIL by All India Kashmiri Samaj which sought a direction to the Government to ensure the Pandits' return to the valley.
It also wanted the Government to come out with a white paper on their condition.
The petitioner demanded that the displaced Kashmiri pandits be declared as "internally displaced persons" as per the guidelines of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The petitioner wanted the displaced Kashmiri pandits to be involved in all negotiations and agreements likely to be entered into by the government regarding the Kashmir valley.
Appearing for the petitioner, senior counsel Arun Jaitley urged the court to direct the government to declare as null and void all distress sales made by the displaced Kashmiris and restore their properties back to them.
The petitioner also sought a direction that the state government cannot acquire any property belonging to pandits without prior consent of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
It also demanded a CBI probe into all massacres in the valley, creation of an autonomous body for restoration of temples destroyed during terrorism, a national commission for the welfare of displaced pandits and restoration of their voting rights.
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First Published: Nov 25, 2006 00:43 IST