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Pellet guns was last resort, intention was not to kill: Centre to SC

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association to respond to the issues raised by the Centre while defending the use of pellet guns to quell stone-pelting mobs in Kashmir valley, stressing that the lawyers’ body cannot take sides.

The apex court sought the Bar’s response after the Centre explained to the Supreme Court the circumstances under which security forces use measures like pellet guns.

The apex court told the Bar it has to play a very important role in assisting the court in evolving a solution and cannot take sides.

The Bar is neither on the side of the security forces nor on the mob’s side, the court said and gave two weeks time to the lawyers’ body to come out with its submission so that a solution can be found and asked it to file an affidavit. The matter has now been posted for April 28.

The apex court noted the submission of Attorney General (AG) Mukul Rohatgi that the security forces try to use minimum forces to avoid any damage to life and property and eventually use pellet guns and live ammunition in the final stage when the mob comes in immediate proximity to the security forces.

The bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar also took into consideration the submission made by Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association, Srinagar which contended that the Centre was not coming out with a clear-cut scenario and expressed its willingness to assist the court.

The bench also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul said that the Bar was in an effective position to bring out true factual position to assist the court in giving directions which will be meaningful.

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