The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday in a rather shcking move, said that it cannot ban pellet guns as the use of force by security agencies is “inevitable” while dealing with protestors who resort to violence. The court was hearing a PIL filed by J&K High Court Bar Association on July 30.
“It is manifest that so long as there is violence by unruly mobs, use of force is inevitable,’’ the court observed. It also said, “What kind of force has to be used at the relevant point of time, or in a given situation/place, has to be decided by persons in charge of the place (of attack).”
The bench comprising of Chief Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey also declined the plea in PIL o issue directions to prosecute officers involved in use of pellet guns. It added that the ossue cannot be considered as no findings of excessive force or violation of standard operating procedure (SOP) have been recorded by any authority so far.
The bench also directed the health authorities to provide adequate treatment to people suffeering from pellet gun injuries. It also added that whether the police are following the SOP while dealing with protestors can be indivdually looked into.
It said it has “recorded” submissions and statement by the state Advocate General and Director General of Police that guidelines issued in the SOP are being followed.
The court said given the situation in the Valley, and the fact that the Home Ministry has already constituted an experts’ committee to explore alternative to pellet guns, it is not inclined to prohibit use of pellet guns in rare and extreme situations before the committee files its report “and a decision (is) taken at the government level”.