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SC refuses to entertain plea for probing Taploo’s murder in 1989, says petitioner may move HC

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday said it is not inclined to admit a petition seeking a probe into the killing of a Kashmiri Pandit in 1989, observing the petitioner can seek relief from the high court.

A bench of Justices B R Gavai and C T Ravikumar noted it had recently refused to entertain a similar petition, and allowed the petitioner to withdraw the application.

“If you want to withdraw, you withdraw it,” the bench said, adding, “We have made it clear that we cannot discriminate between two petitions.”

Senior advocate Gaurav Bhatia, appearing for the petitioner, withdrew the plea with liberty to take appropriate remedy available in law.

During the arguments, Bhatia insisted the plea was related to a “very serious matter” and has been filed by a person whose father T L Taploo was brutally murdered by the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) in 1989.

“Considering the atmosphere that prevailed there, all that I am looking at today is justice and nothing else,” Bhatia said.

He referred to an order passed by the apex court in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases and said after over 30 years, action was taken, charge-sheets were filed and people were convicted.  “We are not inclined to entertain,” the bench responded, observing the petitioner can seek relief before the high court.

“We still have faith in our high courts,” the bench observed.

Bhatia said the petition, which the apex court had recently refused to entertain, was filed by an NGO whereas this plea is by a person whose father was brutally murdered.

He said the petitioner, who is residing in Delhi, was asked to leave Kashmir immediately after his father’s killing.

On September 02, the apex court had asked an NGO that raised the issue of alleged “genocide” of Hindus and Sikhs in Jammu and Kashmir during 1989-2003 to make a representation before the Centre and the appropriate authority.

In its plea, the NGO had sought constitution of a Special Investigation Team to identify the perpetrators and those who aided and abetted the alleged genocide.

The top court had allowed the petitioner to withdraw the plea with the liberty to make a representation to the government and the appropriate authority.

The plea, filed by the NGO, had also sought directions for conducting a census of the Hindus and Sikhs, who were either the victims or survivors of the “genocide” and are now residing in different parts of India. It also sought the rehabilitation of those who had migrated after the exodus triggered by the rise of militancy in 1990.

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