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CJI moots Valley trip with warning on claim

Gogoi warned that the complainant would be held 'accountable' if the allegation was 'found to be false'

By R. Balaji in New Delhi

  • Published 17.09.19, 1:29 AM
  • Updated 17.09.19, 8:28 AM
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, however, warned that the complainant would be held “accountable” if the allegation was “found to be false”.
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, however, warned that the complainant would be held “accountable” if the allegation was “found to be false”. Picture by Prem Singh

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi on Monday said he would visit Jammu and Kashmir, if necessary, to verify a petitioner’s allegation that the state high court had become inaccessible to the people since the August 5 lockdown.

He, however, warned that the complainant would be held “accountable” if the allegation was “found to be false”. The complaint had come from child rights activist Enakshi Ganguly, represented by senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi.

The bench, which included Justices S.A. Bobde and Abdul Nazeer, requested Jammu and Kashmir Chief Justice Gita Mittal to report whether the state high court had been functioning since the August 5 lockdown.

“You have said you were not able to approach the high court. We want to know the reasons. It’s a serious matter if the high court is not accessible. This is an extremely serious submission. We must verify this,” Justice Gogoi said.

“I will personally speak to the chief justice of the high court and, if required, will go there…. But if the statement made is found to be false, you will have to be accountable.”

Earlier, the court had asked Ahmadi why Ganguly had approached the apex court directly instead of going to the high court with her complaint that the security forces were violating the rights of minors in Kashmir.

Ahmadi stuck to Ganguly’s stance that the high court was not accessible.

The bench then passed the following order: “It is stated by Mr Huzefa Ahmadi, learned senior counsel for the petitioners, that access to the High Court of Jammu & Kashmir is seriously affected by the present situation in the state. We request the chief justice of the high court to submit a report on the above issue forthwith.”

Ganguly had cited news reports to allege that a large number of children had been illegally detained since August 5 on charges of stoning the security forces, and that many of them had faced custodial violence.

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