A Division Bench of Supreme Court of India comprising Justice B S Chauhan and Justice SA Bobde after hearing arguments of Prof Bhim Singh, for the petitioner, Balwant Singh, and Advocate-General of J&K in a writ petition seeking investigation by CBI into the Haji Yousuf death case, ordered that the final hearing of the case shall be held on November 29, 2013.
Bhim Singh, submitted the Supreme Court that Haji Yousuf, a businessman closely associated with the ruling National Conference was summoned by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to his residence on September 29, 2011 following a complaint by another National Conference worker that Yousuf had collected Rs.84 lacs for an MLC seat. Another NC worker had complained that he had paid Rs.34 lacs. Bhim Singh informed the court that the Chief Minister detained Haji Yousuf in his house for over two hours in the evening and then directed Police to arrest him.
Bhim Singh said that the Police took Haji Yousuf to a police station and he was declared dead on September 30 2011. He said that the relatives were not informed about the arrest and death of Haji Yousuf.
Bhim Singh submitted that the police registered FIR against Haji Yousuf three days after his death whereas no FIR has been registered in connection with the custodial death of Haji Yousuf. He said that the Supreme Court had issued notice to the State Government on this petition on October 30, 2011 whereas this notice was served on the State on November 9, 2011. Singh said that the J&K government in order to dilute the orders of the high court appointed a retired Judge of on November 18, 2011 instead of implementing the Supreme Court order.
Singh cited a judgment of the Supreme Court in Gujarat case where the Supreme Court had directed the Government of Gujarat to hand over the investigation of the case to the CBI in the public interest. Singh said that the custodial death of Haji Yousuf amounted to murder and an FIR u/s. 302 R.P.C. should have been registered without any delay.
“Appointment of a Commission of Inquiry was a move to divert the attention of the media and the public from the real issues,” Singh said. Singh also filed an affidavit on behalf of Talib Hussain, son of the Late Haji Yousuf who had clearly stated that the police did not inform any member of the family about the arrest of his father nor the family members or a member were informed about his death in custody.
Singh also informed the court that Jammu and Kashmir has been working as police state for several decades. He said that he himself has been victim of the ‘wrath’ of the State Government. He said that he was kept in prison for years even when he was a serving MLA in J&K Assembly.