J&K HC dismisses plea seeking ban on use of pellet guns by security forces

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SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition seeking a ban on the use of pellet guns by security forces for crowd control during protests in the valley.

Dismissing the public interest litigation (PIL), a division bench of justices Ali Mohammad Magrey and Dhiraj Singh Thakur said, “It is manifest that so long as there is violence by unruly mobs, the use of force is inevitable”.

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The PIL was filed by the Kashmir High Court Bar Association in 2016 in the wake of pellet injuries to hundreds of people in the protests that erupted after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces.

What kind of force has to be used at a relevant point of time or in a given situation and place “has to be decided by the persons in charge of the place where the attack is happening,” the bench said.

“This court in the writ jurisdiction, without any finding rendered by a competent forum/authority, cannot decide whether the use of force in a particular incident is excessive or not,” it said.

Dismissing the PIL, the court said it was not inclined to prohibit the use of pellet guns ‘in rare and extreme situations’ before an expert committee constituted by the Union Home Ministry through a memorandum dated July 26, 2016 submits its report and ‘a decision is taken at the government level’.