SC listed JKNPP petition against Resettlement of Pak citizens in J&K

  A Special Bench of the Supreme Court of India comprising of JJ Dr. B.S. Chauhan, Mr. Justice J. Chelameswar and Mr.Justice M.Y. Eqbal today ordered the listing of Panthers Party petition against the draconian Act (1982) of J&K Legislature allowing Resettlement of all those Pakistani nationals in J&K, who had migrated voluntarily to Pakistan in 1947 from J&K to Pakistan.

The Special Bench of the Supreme Court issued the direction to list the case in the 2nd week of July, 2014 on the request of the Advocate General, Shri M.I. Qadri who submitted that the case may not be taken today (the case was listed at Item No.103 for this day before the Bench).

Prof.Bhim Singh, Sr. Advocate appearing for J&K National Panthers Party strongly opposed the State Govt. plea to adjourn the case. He submitted that the sensitive state of J&K is already on the boil as foreign mercenaries are indulging in the acts of violence. He submitted before the Court that the Govt. of J&K led by National Conference intended to import nearly 5,00,000 (five lacs) citizens of Pakistan who had voluntarily migrated from J&K. He said that such a law has threatened security of the state as well as peace and harmony.

This petition was filed by JKNPP in 1982 when Prof.Bhim Singh was the sitting Member of the J&K Assembly. The Congress had fully supported Sheikh Mohd. Abdullah’s government and party to hasten its promulgation as a law. It was this reason, mainly, that Prof.Bhim Singh resigned from the Congress Party as well as from the Assembly by taking an open battle against Sheikh Abdullah’s government supported by the Congress.

It was on the petition of Prof.Bhim Singh before the then Governor, Shri B.K. Nehru that the Governor refused to sign the bill and returned to the Legislative Assembly for reconsideration. The Governor had raised legal objections namely, “As the Bill makes no provision for checking the antecedents of an applicant, nor, indeed, prescribes that his antecedents should be such as to satisfy competent authority that he is not likely to be a security risk, it makes it possible for spies, saboteurs and foreign agents to come and settle in our State as a matter of legal right.” The Govt. of J&K dared reject Governor’s recommendation and re-passed the Bill which becomes automatically a Law.

Because on the protest and demonstrations of newly formed Panthers Party by Prof.Bhim Singh that the Govt. of India led by Mrs. Indira Gandhi referred the Bill under Article 143 to the Supreme Court to determine the question whether it was constitutionally valid?

Several interventions for file in support of the petition of Prof.Bhim Singh before the Supreme Court challenging the validity of the Law which amounted a national threat and security of India. The then President of newly formed Bhartiya Janata Party Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee also filed intervention opposing the Law.

          It was sad event in the history of proceedings before the Supreme Court of India that the case was taken by a Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court after 19 years of gap on 06.11.2001. The Supreme Court announced its order in three words;

“The reference is returned, respectfully, unanswered.”

        The then Chief Minister of J&K, Dr. Farooq Abdullah convened a cabinet meeting on 15.11.2001 and decided to implement the Resettlement Act immediately.

          It was on this turning point in the history of the country that J&K National Panthers Party filed a writ petition on 27.11.2001 before the Supreme Court. Shri Ram Jethmalani appeared for J&K. In spite of strong opposition from the Union of India and the J&K Govt. the Supreme Court stayed the operation of the Act. The writ petition was admitted (rule was issued on 11.11.2002).

          Prof.Bhim Singh submitted before the Supreme Court to take up the matter as early as possible as justice stands delayed and it is humanly impossible for a person to fight this case alone for nearly 12 years.

          Prof.Bhim Singh expressed a satisfaction that the case shall be taken immediately after the summer vacation in the Supreme Court.

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