Basic rights now luxuries: Mehbooba Mufti writes to CJI Chandrachud on 'worrying' state of affairs in Jammu and Kashmir; read full letter here

In the letter dated December 31, she said that the judiciary is the only "ember of hope" as the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution are being impinged upon and saught CJI's intervention.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Saturday, December 31, 2022, 02:37 PM IST
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Mehbooba Mufti | File Photo

Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday, December 31, said that she has penned a letter to Chief Justice of India, DY Chandrachud about the worrying state of affairs in the country and specially Jammu and Kashmir.

In the letter dated December 31, she said that the judiciary is the only "ember of hope" as the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution are being impinged upon and saught CJI's intervention.

Tweeting the letter, she said, "Wrote a letter to the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India about the worrying state of affairs in the country especially Jammu & Kashmir. Hoping for his kind intervention to ensure justice is served."

Mufti says basic rights are now luxuries

"I write to you with a deep sense of concern & worry about the prevailing situation in the country especially Jammu & Kashmir. Your recent observations on the inability of lower judiciary to grant bail in ordinary cases in a functioning democracy as ours should have been adopted as a directive rather than just being consigned to a single column story churned out in newspapers," she wrote.

Speaking further, she said that fundamental rights enshrined in the Indian Constitution is being "brazenly impigned upon". "Unfortunately, it is these basic rights that have now become luxuries & entitlements bestowed upon only those select citizens who toe the Government's line on political, social, and religious matters. And more worryingly, to those who actively contribute and do not obstruct GOI's idea of an India where its strengths of diversity, religious pluralism & tolerance must be weeded out & crushed to lay the foundations of a one-religion nation where minorities are relegated to the social, political & economic fringes," she added.

Elaborating on Jammu and Kashmir, she said that the Union government's "iron-fisted" policy is being justified in the name of national security and interest. "Since 2019, the fundamental rights of every resident of J&K have been suspended arbitrarily and the constitutional guarantees given at the time of the region's accession were suddenly and unconstitutionally abrogated."

Mufti claims freedom of speech & expression is casualty in Jammu and Kashmir

Mufti wrote in her letter, "In any civilised society, upholding the truth is the norm but in Jammu and Kashmir, the freedom of expression and speech to state the obvious has become the biggest casualty. Draconian anti-terror laws like UAPA are slapped ruthlessly on flimsy and trivial grounds."

PDP chief further stated that the overnment agencies like Enforcement Directorate, National Investigation Agency and Central Bureau of Investigation is being used to hound businessmen, political leaders and even youngsters.

"Hundreds of our youngsters are languishing in jails outside Jammu and Kashmir as undertrials. Their condition is exacerbated since they belong to poor families who lack the wherewithal to get legal aid and in such circumstances, the least & humane decision this government could take is to shift them to the union territory," she wrote further adding that it is happening at a time when the "trust deficit" is growing and alienation has widened.

Mufti on jailing of journalists, denying them bail

Mehbooba speaking further said that many journalists have been languishing in jails and were charged under UAPA and PSA. "The only ember of hope in these bleak circumstances is the judiciary which only can right these wrongs. However it saddens me to say that so far our experience with the judiciary has not inspired much confidence," she wrote.

Mufti then added, "Bail is an exception not the norm with recent examples of Stan Swamy, Sudha Bharwaj, Siddique Kappan, Umar Khalid & countless others substantiating it."

Seeking DY Chandrachud, the Chief Justice of India's intervention, she wrote, "I fervently hope that with your intervention justice is delivered and the people of J&K see their expectations of dignity, human rights, constitutional guarantees and a democratic polity realised which had inspired their forefathers to join Mahatama Gandhi's India."

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