Kunan Mass Rape: Army Fails to File Responses before SC, Case Listed for 29 April

KL NEWS NETWORK

SRINAGAR

In December 2014, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir challenged before the Supreme Court the J&K High Court’s order to pay compensation to the Kunan mass rape and torture victims of 23/24 February 1991.

These orders were passed by the Srinagar High Court in a petition filed by five survivors of Kunan Poshpora seeking investigations and justice.

“To date, more than a year later, when the case came up before the Registry of the Supreme Court on 1 March 2016, the status is that Government of Jammu and Kashmir has yet to serve notice of the case on Wajahat Habibullah [then Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir], B G Verghese [now deceased] and K.Vikram Rao, part of the Press Council of India,” a statement issued by a Srinagar based human rights defender group, JKCCS.

Meanwhile, the 9 officers of the 4 Rajputana Rifles made parties to the petition “have chosen not to appear and make their submissions”. “Further, Union of India [Ministry of Defence] has failed to file its response in this case and no further opportunity will be provided to do so as per the Registrar’s earlier orders of 30 September 2015,” the CCS said.

The Registrar on 1 March 2016 gave the Government of J&K a last opportunity to serve the respondents not served thus far, and has listed the case next for 29 April 2016.

The survivors of Kunan have at every forum – including the Supreme Court – emphasized the urgency for fair and independent investigations. “But, whether the Government of J&K, which has failed to serve all the parties, or Union of India and the army officials that have deemed it unnecessary to even respond to the petition, the State seeks to delay proceedings and thereby shield the accused army personnel.”

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