One-Man Judicial Commission Asked to Probe Death of Syed Mohammed Yousuf

Srinagar 19th November: A day after Indian Administrated Kashmir (IAK) government appointed a one-man judicial commission to probe the death of national Conference worker Syed Mohammed Yousuf, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Saturday asked the opposition to take-up the matter with judiciary if it cast aspersions on the credibility of the retired Apex court judge.

“If the opposition wants to doubt the credibility of a retired judge of the Supreme Court who has had absolutely nothing to do with the state of Jammu and Kashmir, then there is really nothing I can say. They should take up the matter with the judiciary,” Omar told reporters after inaugurating a Kisan Mela organised by the State Horticulture Department.

“It is precisely for this reason that we approached the union law minister to recommend the names for this inquiry because we did not want to be seen appointing a judge within the state. If the Opposition is still not satisfied, I can do nothing about it,” he said.

The government had yesterday appointed the Commission by former Supreme Court Judge H S Bedi (65), whose name was proposed by the Union Law Ministry.

Meanwhile, Prof. Saifuddin Soz, president of the state congress, partner in ruling coalition, said that ‘we should wait for the completion of the probe.’

“We should wait for judicial commission report. I have nothing to do with what family wants. Let them fight for their right,” Soz told reporters on the sidelines of party function in Kupwara district of north Kashmir.

State government appointed the Commission to enquire into the causes and circumstances leading to the death of Sayeed Mohammad Yousuf and fix the responsibility for the lapses, if any committed by any person in discharge of his duties under law.

The Commission has been given six weeks time to submit its report to the government.

On October 29, the Indian Administrated Kashmir High Court rejected the request by the state government to appoint a sitting judge to probe the death owning to inadequacy of the judges in the state.

After the high court turned down the request, the Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah asked the Union Law Minister, Salman Khursheed, to suggest a name of a retired Judge of the Supreme Court for appointment as a Commission of Inquiry.

Soon after the Yousuf’s death on September 30th, the State Government requested the Chief Justice of the High Court to nominate a sitting judge of the High Court to conduct a judicial enquiry into the immediate circumstances leading his death.

Sexagenarian Yousuf died under mysterious circumstances after he was handed over to Crime Branch of the state police allegedly by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah at his residence on September 29 following a complaint by two NC activists-Muhammad Yousuf Bhat of Ganderbal and Abdul Salam Reshi of Kokernag, that the deceased had taken Rs 1.18 crore from them in lieu of ministerial berth and a berth in the Legislative Council for them.

Syed Irfan Aziz, from Sopore, a small town in North Kashmir, India, is currently Executive Editor of the Daily English newspaper INSIDE KASHMIR and is a freelance News Producer in electronic media.