SC seeks Centre's response to Kargil martyr father's plea

SC seeks Centre's response to Kargil martyr father's plea

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to respond to a petition filed by Kargil martyr Captain Saurabh Kalia’s father, pleading for raising the issue of his son’s brutal torture by Pakistan Army in 1999 at the International Court of Justice.

A bench of justices R M Lodha and A R Dave gave 10 weeks to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of External Affairs to reply to the plea made by retired scientist N K Kalia who wanted Pakistan to apologise over the incident and punish those behind his son’s death.

Hearing his petition, the court, however, wondered if it was within its jurisdiction to pass directions as sought in the petition and observed that the issue required determination of questions of law as well. “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,” it said.

Representing Kalia, advocate Arvind Kumar Sharma, on his part, insisted that the court should at least seek a response from the government as to what steps it had taken in the last 13 years and also on the representations sent by the petitioner. The court tagged the petition filed by Kalia with another matter pertaining to the Shimla Agreement between India and Pakistan, pending with it. “We tag the case with other matter as it involves question of very wide ramifications, internationally. If direction is needed within the country, then there is no problem. Before any order is passed by this court, there should be absolute clarity that we have got the jurisdiction.

There is already a matter pending pertaining to a treaty between Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Indira Gandhi (Shimla agreement). Can the court issue mandamus in a matter like this? They are covered by a treaty, where consent of both the states is required,” the bench said.

Details on Koda

In another case, the Supreme Court asked the Centre to give details of the cases filed against former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda. “How many cases have been registered against the petitioner? What is the stage of those cases whether chargesheet filed or not? What is the status of the petitioner in those cases,” a bench of Justices H L Dattu and C K Prasad asked. The court was hearing a bail plea of Koda, MP from Singhbum, who was arrested for his alleged role in money laundering in November, 2009.

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