Rejecting a plea seeking a ban on the use of pellet guns in the Valley, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court observed that as long as there is violence, the use of force is inevitable.
A bench comprising Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey also declined the plea to prosecute the officers who ordered the use of pellet guns or fired them, even as it directed the authorities to provide adequate medical treatment to the injured by specialists in or outside the state.
“With regard to the ground situation prevailing as of now and the fact that the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, has already constituted a committee of experts through its memorandum dated July 26, 2016, for exploring an alternative to pellet guns...
“Before filing of the report by the expert committee and a decision taken at the government level, we are not inclined to prohibit the use of pellet guns in rare and extreme situations,” the court said in its order here on Wednesday.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by the Kashmir High Court Bar Association, seeking the ban on the use of pellet guns for crowd control. The court said “it is manifest that so long as there is violence by unruly mobs, the use of force is inevitable”.
The bench also declined the plea to prosecute the officers who ordered the use of pellet guns and those who actually fired them. “Same cannot be considered in this petition as no findings on the use of excessive force, violating the guidelines issued in the standard operating procedure, have been recorded by any fact-finding authority,” it said. Hence, those saying use of excessive force due to which death or injury has occurred, can very well approach the appropriate forum to seek redressal, it said.
The court also directed the authorities concerned to ensure that all the injured are extended adequate medical treatment for whatever injuries they