SC`s poser to J&K Govt on plight of Kashmiri pandits

Last Updated: Monday, January 17, 2011 - 22:21

New Delhi: Asking the J&K Government not
to just harp on "dream proposals", the Supreme Court on Monday
wanted it to explain whether even one out of the thousands of
Kashmiri pandits who fled the Valley following the outbreak of
militancy have been provided with house or employment.

The court`s remarks came on a petition filed by the
All India Kashmiri Samaj which alleged that neither the State
nor the Centre was addressing the grievances of the Kashmiri
pandits who have been suffering for over two decades.

A three judge bench of Chief Justice SH Kapadia,
justices KS Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar asked the State
to come out with the actual data on the steps taken to
ameliorate the plight of pandits forced to flee the Valley.

"Tell us what have you done with your promise of
providing 15,000 jobs.... Have you given a single job. Or for
that matter have you given them a single house.

"We don`t want to go by your dream proposals, but want
some firm action," the bench told the State counsel while
adjourning the matter by four weeks.

The apex court further asked the Government to explain
whether it had set aside even a single sale of house as
illegal since hundreds of houses between 1990-1997 belonging
to the Kashmiri pandits had been auctioned and sold illegally
by vested interests after the victims fled the place.

"Can you show us even one instance where you have set
aside the sale and given it back to the victim?" the bench
queried.

The counsel said he would respond to the queries
by the next date of hearing.

The apex court during the earlier hearing had sought
a response from the State government on the Rs 1,618- crore
special package offered by Centre for restoring properties of
and providing jobs to the pandits.

It had then expressed reservations over the Centre`s
scheme which was not clear as to how the migrants on return
will stay without any accomodation.

"Where will the people who want to go stay ? Now
their properties have been sold or auctioned. There are number
of petitions pending in the High Court. How will they go
Without house, how can people go back to Jammu and Kashmir,"
the bench had earlier queried the Government.

Centre`s Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising
had said the properties auctioned between 1990 to 1997 would
be declared "illegal" and would be "restored".

"All those auctions are illegal and they will be
cancelled," she had assured.

According to the Centre Rs 12.5 crore has already been
allocated to the state government for providing transit
housing to the migrants.

An estimated 4.5 lakh Kashmiri pandits had migrated
from the Valley over 20 years back, fearful of a separatist
insurgency.

PTI



First Published: Monday, January 17, 2011 - 22:21

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