SC rejects petition seeking governor's rule in J&K

The Supreme Court on Friday asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar for a status report on the ground situation in the Kashmir Valley, and said it could not ask the state governor to assume the reins of administration as sought by the petitioner.

Seeking the SG's report, a bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur, Justice A Khanwilkar and Justice D Y Chandrachud told the petitioner, the J&K National Panthers Party, that they "can't direct the governor to assume the reins of the state administration". 

"The situation on the ground changes in hours, these are not issues that could be judicially dealt with," Chief Justice Thakur told senior counsel Bhim Singh who also heads the party, and was appearing for it.

The Panthers Party had moved the top court on 22 July seeking the imposition of governor's rule in the state on the ground of paralysis of administration. It had referred to Section 93 of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution that empowers the governor to assume all the powers to run the state by placing the government and the assembly in suspension.

Asking Bhim Singh "in what way your (petitioner's) fundamental rights were violated", the bench warned that the court would come down very heavily on the party if it tried to derive political mileage from the court proceedings.

"Make sure you don't take any political mileage of the court proceedings. We will come down very heavily if we know that you are making political mileage," Chief Justice Thakur told Bhim Singh.

"You are a political person. Go and sort out these issues in public, not in the court," the CJI told Singh, asking him when was it last he had gone to Kashmir, and pointing out that in last one year he had not gone to the Kashmir valley.

As the counsel told the court that children could not go to their schools, the bench said, "Ok, they have not gone to schools, because the situation has been such," but added, "You bring one person who could not go to hospital on account of recent turbulence."

The bench fixed the hearing in the next week.

A total of 50 people, including 48 civilians and two policemen, have been killed in the state since 9 July, a day after the gunning down of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani by security forces.