New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday took strong note of an order of Jammu and Kashmir government which provides for differential compensations to the people from the state and outsiders who are victims of riots or other similar incidents.
"You (J&K govt) file a detailed affidavit. You cannot be justified, if you are giving more to somebody and less to somebody else," a bench of Chief Justice P Sathasivam, justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and Ranjan Gogoi said.
The court`s observation came during the hearing of a PIL seeking a direction to the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir to provide adequate security and safe passage to the pilgrims stranded due to curfew in Kishtwar where communal clashes took place on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr.
Senior advocate Bhim Singh, appearing for Sudesh Dogra of J&K National Panthers Party who has filed the PIL, cited a government order of 1990 and said this is discriminatory as "the next of kin of personnel of paramilitary forces, if he is permanent resident of J&K, is sanctioned Rs five lakh (in case of death), whereas for other personnel of paramilitary forces only Rs 2 lakh is sanctioned if they are an Indian citizen."
"It also differentiates between the life of a policemen and ex-servicemen/SPO as well as a magistrate. This makes a mockery of justice that on the death of a policeman Rs five lakh is paid to to the next of kin whereas in case of a policeman working as SPO/ex-serviceman or a Magistrate who dies in similar circumstances Rs 2 lakh is paid only," he said.
It is "highly objectionable" to mention the permanent residents of the state as `state subject`, he said, adding "Jammu and Kashmir is one of the provinces of Union of India and its residents are no more the `state subjects`. This shows the apathy on the part of the government of J&K," he said.
Taking note of pleas, the bench asked the state government to file an affidavit on the issue within two weeks and fixed the case for hearing on September 9.