Top British weekly “The Economist” has said that Supreme Court judges are ignoring the Government of India’s “abuses” in Kashmir, stating, “If they put off the decisions long enough, they may not have to rule on anything awkward.” The commentary comes amidst the Supreme Court urgently forming a vacation bench to hear on Monday morning a petition on cutting of scores of trees in Aarey forest of Mumbai.
Terming the situation “disgrace”, the influential periodical said, the Supreme Court does not think it is “particularly urgent” to look into the plight seven million Kashmiri Muslims who have been “under virtual siege, painfully squeezed between some 500,000 itchy-fingered Indian troops and a few hundred armed militants.”
The weekly recalls, “When it met in late August to consider a batch of petitions challenging the constitutionality of Modi’s moves, it gave the government a month to reply. When the judges took the matter up again on October 1, the government’s lawyers received not even a tap on the wrist for failing to prepare a response.”
“Instead”, it says, “the judges graciously yielded more time. The next scheduled hearing is now set for mid-November, which is to say, two weeks after the Jammu & Kashmir Reorganisation Act is due to come into force, on October 31.” The Act would convert the state into two Union territories, directly governed by Delhi.
Continues the weekly, “With equal unconcern, another bench of the Supreme Court on the same day postponed — for the seventh time in one case — an even bigger batch of petitions regarding unfair imprisonment and suspension of communications. It has shunted petitions for habeas corpus –which in legal theory are urgent matters — back to the high court in Jammu & Kashmir, in full knowledge that it has been swamped by more than 250 such protests against illegal detention.”