Will you move ICJ in Captain Kalia’s case? SC asks Centre
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to the Centre on a plea by the father of Kargil hero captain Saurabh Kalia seeking its direction to the government to raise his son`s case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at Hague.
Captain Saurabh Kalia was allegedly captured and brutally killed by the Pakistani Army during the war in 1999.
A two-member bench of Justice RM Lodha and Justice Anil R Dave also asked the Centre whether courts can interfere in such cases.
"We fully share your agony. But what is the role of the court? Can we direct India to take up with the International Court of Justice? It is the highest court and our orders should be within the four corners of the Constitution. This is an important issue. If the government wants it can take up the issue with the ICJ and there is no need for our interference," the bench said.
The court was initially reluctant to issue notice on the grounds that the matter involved two countries and the Indian government should take up the issue with the ICJ.
At this, the court was told that Capt Saurabh Kalia`s family has made every effort to seek justice. They had requested the Defence Ministry, which in turn said that matter has been referred to the Prime Minister`s Office, which in turn said the matter was under the consideration of the External Affairs Ministry.
The court gave the Centre 10 days time to respond to the petition.
NK Kalia has also filed a petition before the UN Human Rights Commission demanding justice for his son. The External Affairs Ministry has said that it would look at the nature of NK Kalia`s petition as the UNHRC look into only inter-state issues raised by its members.
NK Kalia has alleged that his son was captured as a prisoner of war but was killed in a gruesome manner in violation of the Geneva Convention.
Capt Kalia and five other soldiers of his patrolling team were captured alive on May 15, 1999 by Pakistani troops and kept in captivity where they were tortured and their bodies mutilated. Their bodies were handed over to the Indian side later.
The Army has promised full support to Kalia and his family.
(With Agency inputs)
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