Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court: While deciding the instant applications seeking to set aside the orders passed by the Special Judge (Designated Court for UAPA cases under NIA Act) Anantnag, granting bail to the respondents; the Ali Mohammad Magrey and Md. Akram Chowdhary, JJ., observed that offering of funeral prayers of a killed militant by the public at large, even if it was done at the instance of the respondents who are the elderly people of their village, cannot be construed to be anti-national activity of such a magnitude so as to deprive them of their personal liberty as guaranteed under Art. 21 of the Constitution.

Facts and Legal Trajectory of the Case: On 20.11.2021, Police Station Devsar received an information through reliable sources that Mudasir Jamal Wagay, who was an active militant, got killed during encounter with the security forces. After the news spread in the village, a person Mohammad Yousuf Ganai called forth the villagers to perform “Gaibana Namazi-Jinaza” (funeral prayers in absentia) for the slain militant.

Upon Yousouf Ganai’s call, the Imam of Masjid Sharif, Javid Ahmad Shah offered the prayers and during Jinaza the sentiments of the persons who were part of the said assembly, allegedly got incited and there were calls to continue struggle till freedom.

Based on this information, a case was registered at Police Station Devsar and the investigation was set in motion. During the investigation, ten accused persons including respondents were found involved in the case who were accordingly arrested for their involvement in the commission of offence under the provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

The Special Judge of the Designated Court did not express any opinion as to the merits of the case and while keeping in mind the nature of accusations, severity of punishment, the larger mandate of Art. 21 and reformative theory of punishment, granted bail to the respondents.

Observations and Decision: Perusing the facts of the case, the Division Bench noted that the legislative policy under Section 43-D (5) of UA(P) Act is that no person accused of an offence punishable under Chapters IV and VI of the UAPA shall be released on bail, if the Court is of the opinion that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accusation against such person is prima facie true. Both the Chapters deal with the accusation vis-a-vis terrorist activities.

The Bench referred to Union of India v. K.A. Najeeb, (2021) 3 SCC 713, wherein it was observed that unlike the NDPS where the competent Court needs to be satisfied that prima facie the accused is not guilty and that he is unlikely to commit another offence while on bail; there is no such pre­condition under the UAPA. Instead, Section 43­-D (5) of UAPA merely provides another possible ground for the competent Court to refuse bail, in addition to the well­ settled considerations like gravity of the offence, possibility of tampering with evidence etc.

The Court pointed out that personal liberty is the most precious right guaranteed under the Constitution. A person is not to be deprived of his personal liberty, except in accordance with procedures established under law.

It was further observed by the Court that personal liberty may be curtailed where a person faces a criminal charge or is convicted of an offence and sentenced to imprisonment. Where a person is facing trial on a criminal charge and is temporarily deprived of his personal liberty owing to criminal charge framed against him, he has an opportunity to defend himself and to be acquitted of the charge in case prosecution fails to bring home his guilt. Where such person is convicted of offence, he still has satisfaction of having been given adequate opportunity to contest the charge and adduce evidence in his defense.

With the above-stated observations, the Division Bench noted that nothing incriminating has been found against the respondents during investigations, thus the Designated Court was right in its observations made in the impugned order granting bail to the respondent and the order does not need to be interfered with, by the High Court. “No individual can be deprived of his fundamental right of liberty guaranteed under Art. 21 of Constitution”.

[Union Territory of J&K v. Javid Ahmad Shah, 2022 SCC OnLine J&K 714, decided on 01-09-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

M.A.Chashoo, AAG, Advocate, for the Appellant;

None, for the Respondents.


*Sucheta Sarkar, Editorial Assistant has prepared this brief.

Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court: While deciding the instant appeal directed against the decision of the Single Judge Bench in Mohd. Latief Magrey v. Union of India, 2022 SCC OnLine J&K 433; the Division Bench of Pankaj Mithal, CJ., and Javed Iqbal Wani, J., directed the appellants to allow Mohd. Lateif Magery and his family to perform Fatiha Khawani (religious rituals/prayers after burial) of deceased Mohd. Amir Magrey at the Wadder Payeen graveyard, subject to taking into account the required security measures and COVID-19 guidelines. The Court also upheld the compensation of Rs. 5 Lakhs awarded to the respondents in the afore-stated case.

Facts of the case: The respondent’s son named Mohd Amir Magrey, was amongst four persons who were killed in an encounter between the Police and Militants that took place on 15-11-2021 at Hyderpora area of Budgam, Kashmir. Next day, the respondent received a call from Gool Police Station that his son got killed in an encounter. The respondent upon reaching Saddar, Police Station, Srinagar, was told that his son, was in fact a militant and had got killed along with his two other associates and had been buried by appellants at the Wadder Payeen graveyard. The respondent even met the Lieutenant Governor on 07-12-2021 seeking return of the body of his son, but the meeting yielded no results.

Legal Trajectory: In Mohd. Latief Magrey v. Union of India, 2022 SCC OnLine J&K 433, dated 27-05-2022, the Single Judge Bench of this Court directed the Union Territory to make arrangements for exhumation of the body/remains of the deceased Amir Latief Magrey from the Wadder Payeen graveyard in presence of Mohd. Lateif. The State was also directed to pay to the father compensation of Rs. 5 lakhs for deprivation of his right to have the dead body of his son and give him decent burial as per family traditions, religious obligations and faith.

The decision was appealed in UT of J&K v. Mohd. Latief Magrey, LPA No. 99/2022 thereby which the operation of impugned judgement was stayed by way of an interim relief by the Division Bench. Next date of hearing was set for 28-06-2022.

The stay was challenged by Mohd. Latief in the Supreme Court. Lateif submitted before the Court that he wants to perform the last rites of his deceased son, as per their family’s religious practices at the Wadder Payeen Graveyard. He also sought the alternative relief of payment of compensation of Rs. 5 lakhs as granted by the Single Judge in his decision dated 27-05-2022. The Division Bench of Surya Kant and J.B. Pardiwala, JJ., in Mohd. Lateif Margey v. UT of J&K, Special Leave to Appeal (C) no. 10760/2022, observed that the matter is already slated for hearing in the High Court. The Bench directed the High Court to consider the alternative reliefs sought by Mohd. Lateif within 1 week.

Contentions

  • The respondent stated that the dead body of his deceased son was not handed over to him by appellants for burial as per religious rites and practices, thus, resulting in infringement of rights guaranteed under Art. 21 of the Constitution, as it extends to the right to have a decent burial as per religious ceremonies. The respondent submitted that that right to live with human dignity extends even beyond death and the said dignity has to be given to the dead by providing a proper funeral/burial.
  • The respondent submitted before the Court that his request to hand over the dead body of his son to provide a decent burial was rejected by the appellants citing the reason that the deceased was a militant. The respondent however stated that dead bodies of two other persons, killed in the encounter returned back to their families following relentless protests.
  • The respondent also contended that he has been instrumental in fighting and curbing the militancy in his native place Gool Sangaldan, Ramban, along with Indian Army and in this regard, cited an incident, which took place on 06-08-2005, when he and his wife caught hold of a LeT militant, who had barged into their house and opened indiscriminate firing. It was also submitted that the respondent had been conferred with the State Award for Bravery for the afore-stated incident by the then Government of Jammu and Kashmir in the year 2012. The respondent was also well appreciated by the Indian Army and for the services rendered by him in eradicating the militancy in Gool Sangaldan area.

Per-contra, the appellants argued that-

  • The respondent’s demand to return the body of his deceased son is not fair, because it is not the dead body of an ordinary citizen but of a terrorist having got killed in an encounter with security forces. Return of the dead body would lead to law, order and security problems.
  • The deceased was found to be a terrorist indulging in militant activities by the authorised investigating agency. In terms of previous practice and procedure to avoid larger ramifications and adverse impact upon law-and-order situation, the dead body of deceased was shifted and was buried in accordance with all religious obligations at Wadder Payeen Graveyard, performed in presence of Executive Magistrate, Zachaldara. A proper procedure was followed by appellants while dealing with the dead body of deceased in the matter of his burial.
  • It was submitted that after taking adequate security measures, the dead bodies of other two persons killed in the encounter, were returned to their families, as they were not found to be terrorists.
  • It was submitted that, Mohd. Latief and his family can be allowed to perform Fatiha Khawani (prayers after burial) at the grave of the deceased subject to security measures as may be required to be put in place.

Observations: Perusing the ‘peculiar’ facts of the case and contentions of the parties, the Court observed that, Mohd. Lateif has given up the first relief granted by the Single Judge vis-a-vis exhumation of the remains of his son. The Court rejected the insistence by the counsels of Mohd. Latief regarding exhumation of the remains stating that the last rites of deceased have already been performed while burying him at the Wadder Payeen Graveyard.

The Court also rejected the prayer of the respondent’s counsel that the family members be allowed to see the face of the deceased by opening the grave, on the ground of the advanced stage of decay the body will be in; and also taking into account that the respondent has given up the prayer of exhumation of the dead body.

The Court pointed out that the respondents have been subjected to ‘emotional and sentimental melancholy’ as the authorities deprived them of the right to perform last rites and rituals of deceased admittedly without there being any policy/guideline, which cannot be endorsed by law. The Court also stated that there was no way that the appellants could have overlooked the contribution made by the respondents’ family in fighting terrorism; therefore, the decision to award compensation by the Single Judge was correct.

Decision: Allowing the respondents to perform Fatiha Khawani, the Court directed the appellants to fix a date for the same in consultation with the respondents.

Regarding the direction to pay compensation of Rs. 5 Lakhs, the Court clarified that said compensation shall not form a precedence for future in view of the fact that the same was awarded in relation to the peculiar facts and circumstances of the instant case.

[Union Territory of J&K v. Mohd. 2022 SCC OnLine J&K 516, decided on 01-07-2022]


Advocates who appeared in this case :

D. C. Raina, Advocate General with Asifa Padroo, AAG and Sajad Ashraf GA, Advocates, for the Appellants;

Deepika Singh Rajawat, Advocate with Zarin Ali and Yasmeen Wani, Advocates and T. M. Shamsi, ASGI, Advocates, for the Respondents.


*Sucheta Sarkar, Editorial Assistant has prepared this brief

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court: Stating that, the intention of a person can be gathered from the words spoken or written or other expressions, Sanjay Dhar, J., expressed that,

Expression of outrage at the negligence and inhuman attitude of the security forces, police and establishment would come within the ambit of freedom of expression of an individual which includes freedom to criticize the Government of the day which is permissible under law but the same may not be the position if an individual questions the fact of a State being a part of the Country by using the expression ‘occupation of military or the people being slaves etc.

The petitioner had challenged an FIR for the offence under Section 13 ULA(P) Act.

In the petition, it was stated that, the petitioner was an advocate practising for last about 10 years. In 2018, six civilians were killed and more than 60 injured men, women and children in a blast.

Further, it was averred that the petitioner being a resident of the village in which the tragedy had happened, made certain comments regarding the incident on Facebook. According to the petitioner, the theme of the said posts was that there had been negligence which led to the killing of the above-said civilians and that the District Police, Kulgam, and the local administration were principally responsible for the same.

Petitioner submitted that, there was nothing illegal in the posts which were uploaded by him on his Facebook, but an impugned FIR was registered branding the petitioner as an anti-national element.

Analysis, Law and Decision


High Court on perusal of Section 13 of ULA(P) Act stated that a person can be punished for unlawful activities, if he takes part in or commits, advocates, abets, advises or incites the commission of unlawful activity. Even if a person assists any unlawful activity of any association declared as unlawful, he can be subjected to punishment under the aforesaid provision.

The Bench noted that some portions of the first post highlighted that the petitioner advocates that the people of Kashmir are slaves, and it is under occupation which is like cancer. The other post indicated that the petitioner was advocating that this part of the country was under the occupation of the Indian Military.

In Court’s opinion, the freedom of speech and expression guaranteed under the Constitution cannot be stretched to such a limit as to allow a person to question the status of a part of the country or its people.

It is one thing to criticize the Government for its negligence and express outrage on the violation of human rights of the people but it is quite another to advocate that the people of a particular part of the Country are slaves of the Government of India or that they are under occupation of armed forces of the Country.

The Bench expressed that, the petitioner was advocating and supporting the claim that Jammu and Kashmir were not a part of India and that it was occupied by the Indian military with the people having been reduced to the status of slaves. Thus, he was questioning the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Country.

“…petitioner by uploading these posts has cross the Lakshman Rekha which demarcates the freedom of expression guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution of India from the reasonable restrictions imposed on such freedom on the ground of sovereignty and integrity of India.”

Hence, the petitioner’s act, prima facie fell within the definition of ‘unlawful activity’ as contained in Section 2(o) of the ULA(P) Act punishable under Section 13 of the Act.

Lastly, the Court held that quashing the proceedings at present would amount to stifling a genuine prosecution, which is not permissible in view of the Supreme Court decision in Neeharika Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. v. State of Maharashtra, 2021 SCC Online SC 315. Therefore, the petition was dismissed. [Muzamil Butt v. State of J&K, 2022 SCC OnLine J&K 272, decided on 22-4-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioner: M.A. Qayoom, Advocate

For the Respondent: Asifa Padroo, AAG

Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court: While dismissing the petition seeking release from preventive detention to the detenu involved in Pulwama conspiracy, Tashi Rabstan, J., remarked,

“Acts or activities of individual or a group of individuals, prejudicial to the security of the State or public order, has magnitude of across-the boarder disfigurement of societies. No court should tune out such activities, being swayed by passion of mercy.”

The District Magistrate had placed one Muntazir Ahmad Bhat under preventive detention with a view to prevent him from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of the State. The case of the petitioner (father of the detenu) was that the detenu was arrested and detained under Section 8 of the J&K Public Safety Act, 1978 on false and flimsy grounds without any justification in terms of the impugned detention order.

The grounds of revealed that the detenu met with various terrorists of banned organisation, as Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) under whose influence the detenu developed radical ideology and had worked for their unlawful organization by extending all possible logistic support to the terrorists enabling them to carry out the terrorist attack in the area successfully. The detenu was a close accomplice of active terrorist namely Yasir Ahmad Parray. The detenu along-with the said Yasir Ahmad Parray had purchased a Maruti car in the year 2019 and on the instructions of one terrorist, a foreign original namely Junaid Bhat R/o Pakistan loaded the said Maruti car with IED and exploded it on the road near Arihal Village of District Pulwama by targeting patrolling vehicle of 44 RR and also indulged in indiscriminate firing upon the said army patrolling party with the motive and intention to kill them, resulting into martyrdom of 1 army person and injuries to various army personnel. Further, 1 HE-36 hand grenade was also recovered from the compound of detenue’s house.

Observing that there was a likelihood of the detenu recycling into subversive activities, the Bench opined that it will make difficult for the security forces to maintain the public order and safeguard the security of the State and to return the normalcy in the valley if the detenu is released for detention. The Bench remarked,

 “Those who are responsible for national security or for maintenance of public order must be the sole judges of what the national security, public order or security of the State requires.”

Further, holding that extremism, radicalism, terrorism have become the most worrying features of the contemporary life, the Bench expressed that though violent behaviour is not new, the contemporary extremism, radicalism, terrorism in its full incarnation have obtained a different character and poses extraordinary threats to civilized world. Hence, to keep a check on the illegal activities of the detenu the Bench dismissed the petition holding it to be devoid of merit. [Muntazir Ahmad Bhat v. UT of J&K, 2021 SCC OnLine J&K 900, decided on 12-11-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance by:

For the Petitioner: G. N. Shaheen, Advocate

For the UT of J&K: Mir Suhail, AAG

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The bench of Justice Hemant Gupta* and AS Bopanna, JJ has held that Kashmiri migrants, who were once Government employees, cannot retain Government accommodation for indefinite period on the ground that “they would return to the Valley when the situation will improve”.

The Court was deciding the case of where some Kashmiri migrants had occupied Government accommodation in Delhi and in National Capital Region on the strength of an order passed by the Delhi High Court in a judgment reported as Union of India v. Vijay Mam, 2012 SCC OnLine Del 3218, pursuant to which a rehabilitation scheme was framed by the Central Government on 28.3.2017 as modified on 19.5.2017.

The Court, however, noticed that since the Office Memorandum issued on 28.3.2017 was in terms of the order of the High Court of Delhi, which has not been approved by the Supreme Court vide order dated 5.8.2021, the entire basis of issuance of Office Memorandum falls flat as the very foundation of such Scheme stands knocked down.

It was held that the Office Memorandum allowing government accommodation to the retired Government employees who are Kashmiri Migrants did not meet the touchstone of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.

“The Government houses/flats are meant for serving Government employees. Post retirement, the government employees including Kashmiri Migrants are granted pensionary benefits including monthly pension. The classification made in favour of Government employees who were Kashmiri Migrants stands on the same footing as that of other Government employees or public figures. There cannot be any justification on the basis of social or economic criteria to allow the Kashmiri Migrants to stay in Government accommodation for indefinite long period.”

Noticing that the compassion shown to Kashmiri Migrants has to be balanced with the expectations of the serving officers to discharge their duties effectively, bench said that the applicants are occupying the government accommodation at the cost of other Government servants who are waiting in queue for allotment of a government accommodation to discharge their official duties. The Government accommodation is meant for serving officers and cannot be taken as a recourse to stay in Government accommodation for the life time of the Government servants or his/her spouse.

“To say that they would return to the Valley when the situation will improve is an open-ended statement capable of being interpreted in different ways. The satisfaction of improvement of situation would be widely different by the erstwhile Government employees and the State. But in no case it can be countenanced that the former Government employee, may be a Kashmiri Migrant, is entitled to stay in a government accommodation for an indefinite period. Thus, we are unable to uphold the Office Memorandum and strike it down as being totally arbitrary and discriminatory.”

The Court went on to explain that in Para 2(ii) of the Scheme, Kashmiri Pandits were to be accommodated in Delhi for first five years starting from the date of their retirement and thereafter be shifted to National Capital Region. Hence, it would be reasonable if

  • Kashmiri Migrants are allowed government accommodation for a period of three years from the date of retirement so as to make alternative arrangements within such period.
  • If an alternative accommodation is not available for them at their instance, they are at liberty to move to the transit accommodation or to avail cash amount in lieu of transit accommodation.

“Thus, a government employee who is a Kashmiri Migrant would not be entitled to retain Government  accommodation for a period exceeding three years, may be in Delhi or in the National Capital Region or for that matter anywhere in the country.”

The Court further held that the three-years period can also be considered as cooling off period for the officers who were in active intelligence work so that they can resume normal life but the excuse of once working for intelligence agency is not a valid ground to occupy the Government accommodation for indefinite period.

[Omkar Nath Dhar v. Union of India, MISCELLANEOUS APPLICATION NO. 1468 OF 2021, decided on 07.10.2021]

____________________________________________________________________

Counsels:

For applicants: Senior Advocate Bimal Roy Jad

For UOI: Madhavi Divan, Additional Solicitor General


*Judgment by: Justice Hemant Gupta

Know Thy Judge| Justice Hemant Gupta

Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh High Court: Rajnesh Oswal, J., quashed the FIR against activist Sushil Pandit with regard to one of his tweets, stating it to be an abuse of process of law. The Bench stated,

“At the most from the tweet in question, it can be inferred that the petitioner was not in favour of the ceasefire during the holy month of Ramzan but the same can, by no means can be construed to be an act on the part of the petitioner to generate the consequences as envisaged by the section 505 RPC.”

The instant petition had been filed under section 561-A CrPC (now 482) for quashing FIR for commission of offence under section 505 Ranbir Penal Code (RPC).

The facts of the case were that the petitioner who was an activist and expert of Kashmir affairs had tweeted with regard to the killing of 5 CRPF jawans. It was stated that after a couple of hours, when the petitioner came to know that it was a rumour he immediately deleted the said tweet. The tweet in question reads as under:

“Just heard, five CRPF jawans martyred in Pampore. Ramzan ceasefire is working. Question is who is it working for?”

The petitioner alleged that the Ex-Chief Minister of J&K gave the intentional communal meaning to the tweet of the petitioner and if the tweet of the petitioner is taken on its face value to be true, it does not carry any communal inflammatory language, which can create or spread communal hatred between two religious communities. Therefore, the petitioner had sought quashing of the FIR primarily on the ground that the FIR did not disclose the commission of any offence including the offence under section 505 RPC.

In Kedar Nath Singh v. State of Bihar, 1962 Supp (2) SCR 769, the Supreme Court while upholding the constitutional validity of section 505 IPC had observed:  “…it will be found that the gravamen of the offence is making, publishing or circulating any statement, rumour or report (a) with intent to cause or which is likely to cause any member of the Army, Navy or Air Force to mutiny or otherwise disregard or fail in his duty as such; or

(b) to cause fear or alarm to the public or a section of the public which may induce the commission of an offence against the State or against public tranquility; or

(c) to incite or which is likely to incite one class or community of persons to commit an offence against any other class or community…”

Thus mens rea is an essential ingredient of offence under Section 505 RPC and intention to generate the consequences as envisaged by section 505 RPC must be forthcoming from the plain reading of the statement/report or rumour and should not left at the discretion of a particular person. The Bench remarked,

“A perusal of the petitioner’s tweet would reveal that it begins with words “JUST HEARD”, meaning thereby that what was uploaded by him was just heard by him and he had no personal knowledge of the same respondents and this subsequent conduct of the petitioner also makes it ample clear that the said tweet was uploaded in a good faith without any criminal intention to generate the consequences as provided by section 505 RPC.”

Considering that exception to section 505 RPC clearly provides that it does not amount to an offence when a person making, publishing or circulating such report, rumour or report has reasonable grounds for believing that such statement, rumour or report is true and makes, publishes or circulates in good faith and without any such intent, the Bench opined that the petitioner tweeted in good faith what he heard, believing it to be true, hence the impugned FIR was nothing but an abuse of process of law and the case of the petitioner fell within given exception.

Hence, the FIR was quashed. [Sushil Pandit v. UT of J&K, 2021 SCC OnLine J&K 696, decided on 22-09-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearance by:

For the Petitioner: Ankur Sharma, Advocate

For UT of J&K: Sunil Malhotra, Dy.A.G

Fact ChecksNews

An official looking order has been doing the rounds on social media that the Home Department of Jammu & Kashmir has ordered restoration of 4G services. The order dated 27.07.20 is purported to be signed by Shaleen Kabra who is the Principal Secretary to the Government (Home) in J&K. The order states that as schools are closed down due to the COVID situation, access to online classes is a bit hard due to 2G speed. The Secretary being apprised of the situation has ordered restoration of 4G internet. The official looking order can be seen below.

Now let us test the veracity of the claims. The Department of Information and Public Relations, J&K in an article uploaded on https://www.diprjkfactcheck.in/ on 28.07.2020 has clarified that an order mentioning about the directions to Internet Service Providers for lifting speed related restrictions is under circulation in the social media. This order is fake and no such direction has been issued by the Principal Secretary of the Home department, J & K.[1]

Therefore based on the clarification issued by the Department of Information and Public Relations of J&K, we can safely conclude that the message doing the rounds on social media that 4G services has been restored in Jammu & Kashmir is false.


[1] https://www.diprjkfactcheck.in/newsdet.aspx?id=225


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Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Amidst the increasing clamour surrounding the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for its unnecessary incisions of the movies, a Division Bench comprising Rohini C.J. and Nath J. upheld the ruling of the Single Bench, rejecting all the incisions/deletions suggested by CBFC for the documentary ‘Textures of Losses’.

The documentary film highlighting the plight of Kashmiris caused due to gun violence in the region had obtained recommendations of CBFC for incisions/deletions of certain portions of the documentary. The recommendations were challenged by the producer/director of the documentary before the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal, which partly upheld the recommendations. Aggrieved by the same, the respondents approached the High Court, where the Single Bench set aside all recommendations in entirety. In the letters patent appeal filed, the appellants represented by Gaurav Sarin contended that the film being on a sensitive topic of violence in Kashmir required consideration with due care and caution in light of protecting the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India enshrined under Art. 19(2) of the Constitution.

The Bench refused to accept that there was any objectionable material in the film, stating that all views expressed by the people in the film are their personal views and are not anti-national. Court noted that the film seemed to depict the emotions of the persons who lost their dear ones in the violence. With the mutual settlement for placing a disclaimer at the commencement of the movie, the Court directed a ‘U’ certificate for the film, disposing the appeal in favour of the respondents. [Central Board of Film Certification v. Pankaj Butalia, 2016 SCC OnLine Del 844,  decided on 15/02/2016]