Moral fabric of Indian judiciary lies in tatters, Dr Fai at Istanbul meet

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Istanbul: The Seventh International ASSAM Islamic Union Model Congress on the subject of ‘Determination of the Principles and Procedures of the Organization for Justice in India: A Case of Kashmir’ was held in Istanbul, Turkey, today.

According to Kashmir Media Service, 75 academics, scholars, intellectuals, diplomats, journalists, and experts from 30 countries made their interventions during the Congress.

Speaking on the occasion Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Chairman, World Forum for Peace & Justice, said that the conditions of administration of justice in Indian occupied Kashmir are appalling and frightening where the justice system has failed the hapless population of the territory.

“We know that in particular the minimum standards for the respect of the most fundamental rights and dignity of detainees are absent in Kashmir. More shockingly, these arrogations of internationally recognized norms have been codified in laws passed by the Government of India which apply only to Jammu & Kashmir, specifically, ‘The Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act’(PSA) and ‘Armed Forces Special Powers Act’ (AFSPA)” he added.

“PSA has been in force in Jammu & Kashmir since 1978, and permits people to be detained for up to two years on vaguely defined ground to prevent them “from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the State or the maintenance of public order.” The broad definition, he added, given in this act to these expressions permits people to be detained without trial for simply questioning whether Jammu and Kashmir should remain part of India or not.

“The provisions of PSA & AFSPA are incompatible with the requirements of Article 9(2) of ICCPR, which obliges India to ensure that anyone who is arrested is informed at the time of his / her arrest of the reasons for the arrest and informed promptly of any charges against him or her. Such provisions contravene Article 9(4) of ICCPR which requires all people arrested or detained to be brought before a court to decide without delay the lawfulness of detention.”

Dr Fai said, all the aforesaid laws which are in force in Jammu & Kashmir make the armed forces immune from prosecution for acts committed while exercising powers under these laws.

“Indictments and appeals from more than dozen United Nations Thematic Special Rapporteurs; Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and others have failed to make India to withdraw these laws.”

Dr. Fai emphasized that the judiciary is working under great strain in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The judges who try to dispense justice impartially are either transferred to a far-flung state in India or forced to resign or denied promotion which otherwise is due to them.

“In reality, the people of Kashmir are prisoners – prisoners of their conscience. They have been deprived of their inalienable human rights including their right to life and liberty, and access to justice only because they are demanding to exercise their fundamental right to self-determination,” he said.

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