DB directs State to furnish particulars of expenditure on security cover and medicare facilities on separatists

JAMMU, MAY 3: In a Public Interest Litigation filed by Deewakar Sharma seeking withdrawal of the security cover provided to the Separatists as well as Hurriyat leader and other persons who are indulging in anti-national activities against the national interest in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, a Division Bench of J&K High Court comprising Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice MK Hanjura after hearing Sr. Advocate Sunil Sethi with Advocate Lawanya Sharma for the PIL issued four weeks’ notice to Chief Secretary J&K, Principal Secretary Home; Syed Ali Geelani, Chairman APHC & Tehreek-e-Hurriyat; Mohammad Ashraf Sahrai, General Secretary Tehreek-e-Hurriyat; Ayaz Akbar Bhat, Spokesman APHC & Tehreek-e-Hurriyat; Altaf Ahmad Shah, Secretary Public Relations APHC & Tehreek -E-Hurriyat; Dr. G.M. Ganai Press Secretary APHC & Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, Mohammad Abdullah Sheikh Office Secretary, APHC & Tehreek-e-Hurriyat, Yasin Malik Chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front besides a number of other separatists.
The Division Bench after hearing Sr. Advocate Sunil Sethi at length also directed the State to furnish the particulars of security covers and medical facilities to the private respondents.
The DB also directed the State to take decision regarding installation of biometric attendance system in all the Govt Office by or before next date of hearing.
During the course of hearing Sr. Advocate Sunil Sethi submitted that since the onslaught of the phase of militancy in Kashmir from 1990, there had been a war like situation in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, which has been aided and instigated by the forces inimical to the country sitting across the Border and their agents who are sitting inside the country especially in Kashmir Valley.
He further said that in order to maintain the security of the State as also the law and order problem, appropriate action is required to be taken against such persons who are propagating separatism of the State from the Union and who are also instrumental in the propagation of communal hatred leading to mass migration of Kashmiri Pandit community from Kashmir. However, surprisingly instead of taking stern action against such persons, the respondents are spending huge expenses in providing security cover, boarding/ lodging, medical facilities and even food to such separatists and pro-militant elements particularly in Kashmir Valley and the amount so spent by the Government is from the public exchequer which is collected through taxes being paid by the common man, therefore, it is baffling for a common man to understand as to how the taxes being paid by him through hard earned money are used for providing security cover, boarding, lodging and medicare to the persons who are threatening the very unity and integrity of the country as also the life of a common man.
Sr. Advocate Sunil Sethi further said that whatever may be the policy of the Government with regard to dealing with the militants and separatists, it cannot be a policy of using the money of the common man against him by providing benefits to the separatists and preachers of militancy and their agents as private respondents are indulging into mischief of inciting the public of Kashmir valley against the State and by repeatedly indulging into challenging the accession of the State to the Union and are also raising the slogans and incitements against the unity and integrity of the country.
In the PIL it has been further submitted that respondents are involved in inciting large scale violence in Kashmir valley which has resulted into death of thousands of people and members of security forces and despite the efforts made by the State to contain their illegal criminal and subversive activities they are still continuing with their nefarious designs.
Sr. Advocate Sunil Sethi further submitted before the Court that it is again a matter of concern that during the phase of unrest large number of Government employees is found either actively involved in the protests by absenting themselves from their duties, but surprisingly they are getting paid even for such period. This is so because there is no system of keeping a check on the regular attendance of government employees in the Government offices as a result of which their salary is being paid to the Government employees even for the period when they are not working and seeking that Biometric attendance is even otherwise necessary in order to ensure regular attendance in the Government offices as admittedly in the State Government the attendance in the Government offices is believed to be low which is even otherwise telling upon the working of the Government and government offices.
He further submitted that it is again very surprising that there is no uniform which has been provided to the Government employees which they should wear while attending and discharging their duties and most of the times it is very difficult to identify as to who is the Government employee in the office.
He further submitted that the major problem which the State of J&K is facing at present is reporting of false and frivolous news items and even in some cases circulation of genuine news in a manner which is highly instigating and motivated. In almost all the cases of unrest it starts with the reporting in the media whether electronic, print or social and it leads to spread of rumours. Media instead of playing its actual role as a strong pillar of democracy is happier in playing role of Instructor and prompter of separatism and unrest particularly in Kashmir valley. This may apply to certain vested segment of the media though there is responsible media also working in the Valley and elsewhere which is still trying to maintain balance. No effort has been made by the Government to pass on instructions on the media reporting and to the extent to which such reporting would be acceptable so that a limit is fixed for everybody associated with the media. Drawing Lakshman Rekha for media is dire need of the hour.
After hearing Sr. Adv Sunil Sethi at length, the Division Bench directed the State to furnish particulars of security covers and medicare facilities to private respondents and also directed the Chief Secretary to take decision with regard to installation of biometric attendance system in all Govt office before July 5, 2018. JNF