VDC: A Public Interest Litigation

The erstwhile independent lawmaker Sheikh Abdul Rashid who recently floated his own Awami Ittehad Party (AIP) managed to reach periphery of Kishtwar during recent communal clashes. He was arrested and driven back home. His party has filed a Public Interest Litigation seeking ban on Village Defence Committee (VDC). The issue of VDCs is at the core of public discourse across J&K, both in Jammu and in Kashmir. Since the issue involves a larger public interest, Kashmir Life is uploading the PIL with thanks to the AIP.

BEFORE THE HON’BLE HIGH COURT OF JAMMU & KASHMIR AT SRINAGAR

PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION NO……………………../2013

IN THE MATTER OF :
1.    Er. Ab. Rashid
S/O Khazir Mohmad Sheikh
R/O Mawar Payeen District Kupwara
Aged about 44 Years.

2.    Advocate Nazir Ahmad Malik
S/O Sonaullah Malik
R/O Bandipora
Aged about  46   Years             PETITIONERS

VERSUS
1.    State of Jammu & Kashmir through its
Chief Secretary,
Civil Secretariat, Srinagar/Jammu.

2.    Secretary,
Department of Home Affairs,
Government of Jammu and Kashmir,
Civil Secretariat Srinagar/Jammu.

3.    Secretary,
Department of Law,
Government of Jammu & Kashmir,
Civil Secretariat, Srinagar/Jammu.        RESPONDENTS

TO
THE HON’BLE CHIEF JUSTICE,
AND HIS LORDSHIPS COMPANION JUSTICES
OF THE HON’BLE HIGH COURT OF J&K AT
SRINAGAR.
THE HUMBLE PETITION OF THE
PETITIONERS ABOVENAMED:

PETITION IN THE FORM OF PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION  UNDER ARTICLE 226 OF CONSTITUTION OF INDIA READ WITH SECTION 103 OF CONSTITUTION OF JAMMU & KASHMIR SEEKING DIRECTIONS AGAINST THE RESPONDENTS  FOR QUASHING THE GOVERNMENT ORDER NO.HOME-293 OF 1995 DATED 30.09.1995 IN TERMS OF WHICH SANCTION HAS BEEN ACCORDED FOR CREATION OF VILLAGE DEFENCE GROUPS IN DIFFERENT DISTRICTS OF THE STATE OF JAMMU & KASHMIR. DIRECTIONS ARE FURTHER SOUGHT AGAINST THE RESPONDENTS FOR IMMEDIATELY DISBANDING THE VILLAGE DEFENCE COMMITTEES AND DECLARING THEM AS UNCONSTITUTIONAL BODY.  DIRECTIONS ARE FURTHER SOUGHT AGAINST THE RESPONDENTS FOR IMMEDIATELY TAKE STEPS TO RECALL ALL FIRE ARMS ISSUED TO THE MEMBERS OF VILLAGE DEFENCE COMMITTEE ALONGWITH ACCESSORIES. ALSO SEEKING DIRECTIONS AGAINST THE RESPONDENTS  TO ENQUIRE INTO THE ALLEGATIONS OF HUMAN RIGHT ABUSES RAISED BY VARIOUS GOVERNMENT AND NON-GOVENMENTAL AGENCIES AGAINST THE VILLAGE DEFENCE COMMITTEES.

MOST RESPECTFULLY SHOWETH:-

1.    That the present Petition is being filed under Article 226 of Constitution of India read with section 103 of Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir in Public Interest and raises crucial questions of facts and law enumerated herein below. The instant Public Interest Litigation relates to functioning and operation of the Village Defence Committees within the territorial jurisdiction of State of Jammu and Kashmir and misuse of their position consequently leading to human rights violations. The Petitioners by way of the instant Public Interest Litigation are seeking directions against the respondents  for quashing the Government Order no.HOME-293 of 1995 dated 30.09.1995 in terms of which sanction has been accorded for creation of Village Defence Groups in different districts of the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Directions are also sought for conducting an impartial enquiry through the State Human Rights Commission, in order to find out the number of incidences wherein the members of VDC have indulged into activities prejudicial to law from the time such VDCs have come into existence pursuant the order dated 30.09.1995.  Directions are further sought against the respondents for immediately disbanding the Village Defense Committees and declaring them as unconstitutional body in much as their formation, operation and creation is concerned.   Directions are further sought against the respondents for immediately taking steps to recall all fire arms issued to the members of Village Defense Committee alongwith accessories. Further seeking directions against the respondents directing them to desist from recruiting any further members of the VDC and stopping disbursement of  funds allocated  for the purpose of running the day today affairs of the same.

2.    That the Petitioners are the Citizens of State of Jammu and Kashmir. The Petitioner No.1 is a sitting MLA in the State Legislative Assembly from Langate Constituency. The said Petitioner has won elections to be elected as a Member of the State Legislative Assembly as an independent candidate and does not have any affiliation with any of the Political Parties running the affairs of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The Petitioner No.1 is presenting the instant writ petition not in a capacity of political activist but purely as a citizen of the State of Jammu and Kashmir and on the basis of his continuous participation as a member of a civil society in raising various issues of social concern. The Petitioner No.1, therefore, is a public spirited person and is continuously engaged in highlighting issues of social concern by way of writing articles, participating in Seminars organized by members of Civil Society, taking part in peaceful protest demonstrations and candle light vigils organized to highlight issues of social importance. The Petitioner No.1 has participated in various seminars and highlighted such issues as would come across from time to time. The Petitioner No.1  has also written articles of social importance in leading Newspapers of the State and therefore has always been vocal in raising his voice against any violation of Human rights.

3.    Petitioner No.2 is a practicing lawyer in the State of J&K. The said Petitioner is prolific writer and has at various occasions through his articles raised issues of general concern. The said Petitioner has also been an active participant with the Civil Society of the State of Jammu & Kashmir and has therefore always been vigilant in raising all such issues that either directly or indirectly connect with the Society at large. The Petitioner No.2 has at various occasions represented poor and needy people before the courts of  law and has therefore rendered his pro-bono services as a Lawyer . The said Petitioner has also advocated at various forums on issues relating to child rights, prisoners rights, health rights etc.

4.    Therefore, being  conscious citizens of the State, respectable members of the Society and having a social activism background, the Petitioners are presenting the instant writ petition highlighting an issue of grave nature.  Thus, the Petitioners are fully entitled to maintain the instant Public Interest Litigation purely on the ground that the issues raised herein being in the interest of the Society. The Petitioner No.1 is also entitled to maintain the instant writ petition despite him having a political background on the ground that the said Petition is neither filed for his personal gains or profits nor for achieving any political benefits out of the same. The issue raised in the present Petition would in no manner benefit the Petitioners politically but has a direct bearing on the Society at large. Hence, the present Petition being maintainable is being filed under Public Interest.

5.    That the Petitioners states and submits that respondents in the year 1995 by virtue of an Order No.Home-293 of 1995 have accorded sanction  to creation of Village Defence Groups in various districts of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. In terms of the said order, a scheme has been formulated known as “Village Defence Group Scheme” . The purpose of the Scheme as indicated reflects that there has to be an active participation of the local population in the security of their respective villages and habitation alongwith the borders in Jammu Division as well as important installations within the vicinity. In view of the said Scheme , it is indicated that the local population of such areas have been provided arms and ammunitions in the form of Rifles and other weapons. It also indicates that various districts of Jammu region would be covered under the scheme. In all 660 villages as per the above said order were required to be covered and consequently Village Defence Committees were required to be set up. Filed herewith and marked as Annexure-A  is the copy of order dated 30.09.1995.

6.    The members of this group as per the Scheme are required to work on voluntary basis and their selection is to be made by the District Administration from amongst the ex-servicemen and ex-Policemen available in the village and also through the able bodied young men having proficiency in handling the weapons. The members of such groups as per the scheme are called as “Members of Village Defence Committees” and are paid an honorarium of Rs.1500/- per month. It is pertinent to mention here that the scheme does not provide either for minimum qualification or character antecedents of any such person engaged with the Village Defence Committee.

7.    That the Petitioners states and submits that by virtue of the above sated order , more than 25000 number of VDCs and 26500 members of Village Defence Committees have been operating within the jurisdiction of State of Jammu and Kashmir. All such persons have been supplied with the firearms of the most sophisticated type alongwith the ammunitions for their use and operation. It is apt to mention here that all such members of the VDC are entitled to carry with them such firearms at every point of time, therefore, indicating that in situations when there is no armed rebellion or conflict or attack from the banned outfits even in that situation such VDCs are entitled to carry with them firearms ready to be used anytime. Therefore, there is every likelihood that such VDCs could use the firearms at occasions resulting out of anger or fit of rage as well.

8.    That the Petitioners states and submits that there have been various incidents in past many years where members of Village Defence Committees have misused their position and have used such firearms for their personal gains and settling scores with their enemies resulting in loss of life and property as well. One such incident occurred in the Doda District in Jammu region reported by a leading Newspaper of the Valley on July 30th 2013.  It has been reported that a 10th Standard boy namely Shameem Ahmad Lone S/O Ab. Waheed aged about 16 years was killed by Members of Village Defence Committee during night hours. It was alleged by the locals according to media reports that the said killing has taken place at the hands of Members of Village Defence Committee of District Doda. The said case was reported by Daily Kashmir Life on 30th of July 2013. Filed herewith and marked as Annexure-B  is the copy of the news report.

9.    Another incident of misuse of firearms was again reported on 29th July 2013 by a leading Newspaper wherein it was alleged that two persons including a member of Village Defence Committee were arrested after they allegedly kidnapped and raped a 16 year old girl in Kuntwara, a remote village of Kishtwar District. The said news report also indicates that the families of the victims were threatened by the members of the Village Defence Committee for protesting against such grave incident. The villagers in this case have alleged that the said incident had taken place at the behest of the Members of the Village Defence Committees and with the backing and support of VDC. Filed herewith and marked as Annexure-C  is the copy of the news report.

10.    That the Petitioners states and submits that there are many other instances where the members of the VDC have indulged in criminal activities by unleashing terror within the areas of their operation and have at many occasions indulged in activities such as kidnapping , extortion and murder. The Petitioners have a reason to believe that such acts of the VDC members are not reported at various occasions fearing reprisal. Since most of these villages are remotely connected with the State Capital, therefore, the plight of such people does not come to the fore. The most  recent incident of communal violence that took place in Kishtwar District of State of Jammu and Kashmir is a glaring example of misuse of powers by the Members of VDC.

11.    It has been widely reported in media that the communal violence taking toll of several individual lives was a result of exploitation of a situation by members of Village Defence Committees in Kishtwar District. If the media reports are to be believed then it was the members of Village Defence Committee which fired upon innocent civilians resulting into killing of the same. That the Petitioners states and submits that the state of Jammu and Kashmir as a result of such illegal acts witnessed the worst form of communal violence spreading all across the State.  It was only because of the illegal acts on part of the members of the Village Defence Committees in District Kishtwar that led to loot and arson at various places resulting in deaths as well. That the Petitioners states and submits that one youth who had taken refuge in Padder Police Station during such riots was dragged out by members of the VDC and was brutally killed and murdered in broad daylight. The Petitioner No.1 personally visited District Kishtwar and interacted with the local population of the area, who in turn narrated the terror unleashed by members of Village Defence Committees upon the innocent civilians by misusing the firearms leading to death and destruction. Filed herewith and marked as Annexure-D  are the news reports indicating the destruction having taken place due to the communal violence.

12.    That the Petitioners states and submits that the above incidents are only indicative of the fact that the members of the VDC have gone out of control of the respondents and have started their independent working without any control from any quarter. The recent communal violence in the State of Jammu and Kashmir at the hands of the VDC members has resulted in demands pouring in from all the Civil Society Organisations and citizens of the State for disbanding the members of village Defence Committees. The members of the Civil Society have raised issues concerning of human rights due to the illegal activities of the members of the VDC. Filed herewith and marked as Annexure-E  are the copies of the media reports.

13.    That the Petitioners states and submits that not only this there is another aspect of the matter also. By providing the jobs of members of Village Defence Committee, the State is also putting in danger lives of such members of Village Defence Committees by fighting insurgency in the State. The State is responsible for protection of life and liberty of its citizens . The respondents are therefore, duty bound under law to protect the lives of the civilians by disarming the members of the Village Defence Committee and also by protecting all such members from participating in counter insurgency operations as well. All such VDCs, therefore, have been put in danger and their lives are at risk  because of the Policy adopted by the respondents. The State, therefore, being guardian of protection of life and liberty cannot endanger the lives of the innocent civilians as well as the VDCs by placing them in dangerous circumstances without adequate safety of numbers and strength that a formal security force would possess.

14.    The respondents, therefore, are not only using the members of the VDC against the civilian population by allowing them freehand in carrying on the illegal activities but have also in turn used the VDCs as cannon fodder in the battle against the counter insurgency operations. The scheme adopted by the respondents is, therefore, violative of Article 21 and Article 14 of the Constitution of India and will continue to be violated by the appointment of young souls with very little education background as VDCs engaged in counter insurgency activities. The lack of adequate prior education incapacitates them with respect of acquisition of skills, knowledge, analytical tools to function effectively as VDCs engaged in any manner in counter insurgency activities.

15.    That the Petitioners states and submits that the scheme in question also violates article 14 because subjecting such youngsters to the same level of dangers as members of the regular force who have better educational backgrounds, received better training and because of better educational backgrounds possess a better capacity to benefit from training that is appropriate for the duties to be performed in counter insurgency activities, would be to treat unequals as equals. Moreover, in as much as such youngsters with such low educational qualifications  and scholastic inabilities to benefit from appropriate training, can also not be expected to be effective in engaging in counter insurgency activities. The Policy , therefore, of employing such youngsters as VDCs is irrational, arbitrary and capricious.

16.    That the Petitioners states and submits that the said policy is also violative of article 21 because notwithstanding the claimed volition on part of these youngsters for appointment as VDCs cannot be expected to understand the dangers that they are likely to face and the requirements of necessary judgment while discharging such responsibilities. To employ such ill-equipped youngsters as VDCs and equipping them with firearms would endanger the lives of other in the society as well. In the instant case there have been instances where lives of members of the Society have been lost at the hands of such VDCs, hence the Policy being violative of article 21 as well.

17.    That the Petitioners states and submits that even otherwise the purpose for which the said policy was framed has to be discharged by the State by using the existing security machinery for protection of  life and liberty of its citizens. It is the constitutional duty of the respondents to provide protection to the residents of the villages in Border areas by using the apparatus in the form of security forces and therefore, the respondents  cannot under the guise of providing security to its citizens raise an untrained militia in the form of VDC to fight counter insurgency. Therefore,  the order dated 30.09.1995 is bad in law and deserves to be quashed. The actions of the State in the present scenario are indicative of the fact that the respondents are abdicating from their constructional responsibilities by providing appropriate security to its citizens, by having an appropriately trained professional police force of sufficient numbers and properly equipped on a permanent basis.

18.    That the Petitioners states and submits that these are essential state functions and cannot be divested or discharged through creation of temporary cadres with varying degrees of State Control. The necessarily have to be delivered by forces that are completely under the control of the state, permanent in nature and appropriately trained to discharge their duties within the four corners of the Constitutional permissibility. The instant matter by creation of VDCs therefore, represent an extreme form of  transgression of constitutional boundaries on part of the respondents.

19.    The act of the respondents by creation of such force pursuant to State Policies has had adverse effect on Society and the acts and instances of crimes by such members are horrific.

20.     It is under these circumstances that the Petitioners are preferring the instant Petition in Public interest seeking an end to vast destruction of life and property on part of the members of the VDC pursuant to their creation by virtue of an order dated 30.09.1995 .

21.    That the Petitioners states and submits that they have no personal  or political interest in the subject matter of this petition. They hereby undertake to pay exemplary costs or compensatory damages as directed by this court in events of contrary finding upon adjudication by court that the Petition is filed for extraneous/personal considerations or with an oblique motive.  That the Petitioner No.1 had personally visited district Kishtwar after reading the news reports with an intention to find out the correctness of the same. The Petitioner No.1 interacted with the locals and was told that the allegations levelled against the VDC members were true and believe to be true.

22.    That the Petitioners have no other alternative, efficacious remedy available to them but to approach this Hon’ble Court for the redressal of their genuine grievances .

23.    That no other petition dealing with the same subject matter have been filed by the Petitioners before this Hon’ble court, nor have the Petitioners approached the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India or, in fact, any other court regarding the same subject matter.

24.    That this Petition  is supported by an affidavit duly sworn.

PRAYER

In the light of abovementioned facts and circumstances, it is most respectfully prayed that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to:

a)    ISSUE a Writ of Certiorari or any other appropriate writ, order or directions, against the respondents  for quashing the Government Order no.HOME-293 of 1995 dated 30.09.1995 and declaring the same as unconstitutional, in terms of which sanction has been accorded for creation of Village Defence Groups in different districts of the state of Jammu & Kashmir.

b)    Directions are also sought for conducting an impartial enquiry through the State Human Rights Commission, in order to find out the number of incidences wherein the members of VDC have indulged into activities prejudicial to law from the time such VDCs have come into existence pursuant the order dated 30.09.1995.

c)    Directions are further sought against the respondents for immediately disbanding the Village Defence Committees and declaring them as unconstitutional body in  much as their formation, operation and creation is concerned.

d)    Directions are further sought against the respondents for immediately taking steps to recall all fire arms issued to the members of Village Defence Committee alongwith accessories. Further seeking directions against the respondents directing them to desist from recruiting any further members of the VDC and stopping disbursement of  funds allocated  for the purpose of running the day today affairs of the same

e)    Any other order or direction which this Hon’ble court may deem fit and proper also be issued in favour of the Petitioners and against the Respondents.

AND FOR THIS ACT OF KINDNESS THE PETITIONERS SHALL AS IN DUTY BOUND EVER PRAY.
Petitioners
Through Counsel

Syed Faisal Qadri & Associates
(Advocates)
DATE:
PLACE: Srinagar

BEFORE THE HON’BLE HIGH COURT OF JAMMU & KASHMIR AT SRINAGAR

CMP No…………../2013
OWP (PIL) NO…………/2013

IN THE MATTER OF :
1.    Er. Ab. Rashid
S/O Khazir Mohmad Sheikh
R/O Mawar Payeen District Kupwara
Aged about 44 Years.

2.    Advocate Nazir Ahmad Malik
S/O Sonaullah Malik
R/O Bandipora
Aged about  46   Years             PETITIONERS

VERSUS
1.    State of Jammu & Kashmir through its
Chief Secretary,
Civil Secretariat, Srinagar/Jammu.

2.    Secretary,
Department of Home Affairs,
Government of Jammu and Kashmir,
Civil Secretariat Srinagar/Jammu.

3.    Secretary,
Department of Law,
Government of Jammu & Kashmir,
Civil Secretariat, Srinagar/Jammu.         RESPONDENTS

TO
THE HON’BLE CHIEF JUSTICE,
AND HIS LORDSHIPS COMPANION JUSTICES
OF THE HON’BLE HIGH COURT OF J&K AT
SRINAGAR.
THE HUMBLE APPLICATION OF THE
APPLICANT ABOVENAMED:

APPLICATION FOR EX-PARTE AD-INTERIM DIRECTIONS

MOST RESPECTFULLY SHOWETH :

1.    That the present application is being filed for certain ex-parte ad-interim directions to the Respondents herein in the facts and circumstances described in the accompanying Public Interest Litigation  filed by the applicants herein.

2.    That the entire sequence of material facts and events leading to the accompanying Public Interest Litigation  are not being repeated here for the sake of brevity. The Applicants/Petitioners however craves leave to refer and rely upon the same for the purpose of this application.

3.    That the balance of convenience also lies in favour of the Petitioners.

4.    That the present application is being filed bona fide and in the interest of justice.
PRAYER

In the abovementioned facts and circumstances, it is most respectfully prayed that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to:
a)      Pass an order and consequently directing the respondents:
(i)     to furnish a status report indicating the total number of VDCs operating in Jammu region of the State of Jammu & Kashmir.

(ii)    To furnish a status report indicating the arms and ammunitions having been distributed to such members of the VDCs pursuant to Government Order no.HOME-293 of 1995 dated 30.09.1995.
(iii)    To furnish a status report identifying number of crimes reported by the locals against the members of the VDCs from the time they have been created, FIR lodged and the results thereof.

(iv)    Directing the respondents to undertake an independent enquiry at the hands of State Human Rights Commission by associating prominent members of the civil Society,  Independent non-Governmental Organizations in order to look into the allegations of human rights violations perpetrated by the members of the VDC in Jammu region and submit a report before this Hon’ble Court of such enquiry.

b)    Pass such other and further order/s as this Hon’ble Court may deem fit and proper.

AND FOR THIS ACT OF KINDNESS THE APPLICANT AS IN DUTY BOUND SHALL EVER PRAY.
Petitioners
Through Counsel

Syed Faisal Qadri & Associates
(Advocates)
DATE:
PLACE: Srinagar

BEFORE THE HON’BLE HIGH COURT OF JAMMU & KASHMIR AT SRINAGAR
OWP (PIL) NO…………/2013

IN THE MATTER OF:
Er. Ab. Rashid & anr                PETITIONERS
VERSUS
State of J&K and others                RESPONDENTS

AFFIDAVIT

I, Er. Ab. Rashid S/O Khazir Mohmad Sheikh R/O Mawar Payeen District Kupwara  do hereby solemnly affirm and state as under:
(1)    That I am one of the Petitioner in the above titled application, therefore, I am well conversant with the facts and circumstances of this case, and as such, I am competent to swear this affidavit.
(2)     That I have gone through the contents of the accompanying application  and understood them and state that the same are being filed under my instructions and the contents thereof are true to the best of my belief and nothing material has been concealed.

DEPONENT
VERIFICATION

Verified on solemn affirmation at Srinagar on this the ___ day of August  2013 that the contents of the above affidavit are correct, no part of it is false and nothing material has been concealed there from.
DEPONENT

BEFORE THE HON’BLE HIGH COURT OF JAMMU & KASHMIR AT SRINAGAR
OWP (PIL) NO…………/2013

IN THE MATTER OF:
Er. Ab. Rashid & anr                PETITIONERS
VERSUS
State of J&K and others                RESPONDENTS
AFFIDAVIT

I, Er. Ab. Rashid S/O Khazir Mohmad Sheikh R/O Mawar Payeen District Kupwara  do hereby solemnly affirm and state as under:

(1)    That I am one of the Petitioner in the above titled Petition, therefore, I am well conversant with the facts and circumstances of this case, and as such, I am competent to swear this affidavit.
(2)    That I have gone through the contents of the accompanying Petition  and understood them and state that the same are being filed under my instructions and the contents thereof are true to the best of my belief and nothing material has been concealed.

DEPONENT
VERIFICATION

Verified on solemn affirmation at Srinagar on this the ___ day of August  2013 that the contents of the above affidavit are correct, no part of it is false and nothing material has been concealed there from.

DEPONENT

BEFORE THE HON’BLE HIGH COURT OF JAMMU & KASHMIR AT SRINAGAR
OWP (PIL) NO…………/2013

IN THE MATTER OF:
Er. Ab. Rashid & anr                PETITIONERS
VERSUS
State of J&K and others                RESPONDENTS
AFFIDAVIT

I, Er. Ab. Rashid S/O Khazir Mohmad Sheikh R/O Mawar Payeen District Kupwara  do hereby solemnly affirm and state as under:

(1)    That I have gone through the contents of the accompanying Petition  and understood them and state that the same are being filed under my instructions and the contents thereof are true to the best of my belief and nothing material has been concealed.

(2)    That I hereby affirms and states on oath that the Petitioner herein has no personal interest in the subject matter of this petition. The Petitioner hereby undertake to pay exemplary costs and/or compensatory damages as directed by this court in the event of a contrary findings upon adjudication by the court that the Petition is filed for extraneous/personal considerations or with an oblique motive.

DEPONENT
VERIFICATION

Verified on solemn affirmation at Srinagar on this the ___ day of August  2013 that the contents of the above affidavit are correct, no part of it is false and nothing material has been concealed there from.

DEPONENT

BEFORE THE HON’BLE HIGH COURT OF JAMMU & KASHMIR AT SRINAGAR
OWP (PIL) NO…………/2013

MEMO OF PARTIES

IN THE MATTER OF :
1.    Er. Ab. Rashid
S/O Khazir Mohmad Sheikh
R/O Mawar Payeen District Kupwara
Aged about 44 Years.

2.    Advocate Nazir Ahmad Malik
S/O Sonaullah Malik
R/O Bandipora
Aged about  46   Years             PETITIONERS

VERSUS
1.    State of Jammu & Kashmir through its
Chief Secretary,
Civil Secretariat, Srinagar/Jammu.

2.    Secretary,
Department of Home Affairs,
Government of Jammu and Kashmir,
Civil Secretariat Srinagar/Jammu.

3.    Secretary,
Department of Law,
Government of Jammu & Kashmir,
Civil Secretariat, Srinagar/Jammu.         RESPONDENTS

FILED BY: –

Petitioners
Through Counsel

Syed Faisal Qadri & Associates
(Advocates)

BEFORE THE HON’BLE HIGH COURT OF JAMMU & KASHMIR AT SRINAGAR
OWP (PIL) NO…………/2013

IN THE MATTER OF:
Er. Ab. Rashid & anr                PETITIONERS
VERSUS
State of J&K and others                RESPONDENTS

INDEX
Sl. No.    Particulars    Page Nos.
1.    Writ Petition
2.    Annexure A
3.    Annexure B
4.    Annexure-C
5.    Annexure-D
6    Annexure-E
7.    Affidavit
8    Power of Attorney

Petitioners
Through Counsel

Syed Faisal Qadri & Associates
(Advocates)
BEFORE THE HON’BLE HIGH COURT OF JAMMU & KASHMIR AT SRINAGAR
OWP (PIL) NO…………/2013

IN THE MATTER OF:
Er. Ab. Rashid & anr                PETITIONERS
VERSUS
State of J&K and others                RESPONDENTS
SYNOPSIS
That the instant Writ Petition is being filed  under Article 226 of Constitution of India read with section 103 of Constitution of Jammu & Kashmir in Public Interest and raises crucial questions of facts and law enumerated herein below. The instant Public Interest Litigation relates to functioning and operation of the Village Defence Committees within the territorial jurisdiction of State of Jammu and Kashmir and misuse of their position consequently leading to human rights violations. The Petitioners by way of the instant Public Interest Litigation are seeking directions against the respondents  for quashing the Government Order no.HOME-293 of 1995 dated 30.09.1995 in terms of which sanction has been accorded for creation of Village Defence Groups in different districts of the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Directions are also sought for conducting an impartial enquiry through the State Human Rights Commission, in order to find out the number of incidences wherein the members of VDC have indulged into activities prejudicial to law from the time such VDCs have come into existence pursuant the order dated 30.09.1995.  Directions are further sought against the respondents for immediately disbanding the Village Defense Committees and declaring them as unconstitutional body in much as their formation, operation and creation is concerned.   Directions are further sought against the respondents for immediately taking steps to recall all fire arms issued to the members of Village Defense Committee alongwith accessories. Further seeking directions against the respondents directing them to desist from recruiting any further members of the VDC and stopping disbursement of  funds allocated  for the purpose of running the day today affairs of the same

Petitioners
Through Counsel

Syed Faisal Qadri & Associates
(Advocates)

BEFORE THE HON’BLE HIGH COURT OF JAMMU & KASHMIR AT SRINAGAR
OWP (PIL) NO…………/2013

IN THE MATTER OF:
Er. Ab. Rashid & anr                PETITIONERS
VERSUS
State of J&K and others                RESPONDENTS

LIST OF DATES
30.09.1995    Respondents in the year 1995 by virtue of an Order No.Home-293 of 1995 have accorded sanction  to creation of Village Defence Groups in various districts of the State of Jammu and Kashmir

29.07.2013    Misuse of firearms was reported on 29th July 2013 by a leading Newspaper wherein it was alleged that two persons including a member of Village Defence Committee were arrested after they allegedly kidnapped and raped a 16 year old girl in Kuntwara, a remote village of Kishtwar District

30.07.2013       A 10th Standard boy namely Shameem Ahmad Lone S/O Ab. Waheed aged about 16 years was killed by Members of Village Defence Committee during night hours.
-08-2013             Hence the present  Public Interest Litigation

FILED BY: –

Petitioners
Through Counsel

Syed Faisal Qadri & Associates
(Advocates)

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