NEW DELHI: The Indian Supreme Court on Monday (Ist July) dismissed a PIL (public interest litigation) petition asking the court to direct the Union of India that similar to Assembly seats, create two parliamentary seats in AJK (mentioned as PoK) and Gilgit-Baltistan respectively as these are Indian territories but are currently occupied by Pakistan.
The plea, filed by R.K. Yadav, asked the court to issue a mandamus to the government to carve out the two Lok Sabha seats “against the 24 MLAs seats earmarked in the Jammu & Kashmir Constitution for ‘PoK’ and Gilgit/Balistan which are not counted for voting presently in 111 assembly seats of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly”.
Blankly refusing the plea, a Bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi recorded in the order that the “petitioner seeks interference of this court by means of a writ of mandamus directing the government to create two Parliamentary seats for Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and Gilgit/Baltistan. Ex facie, the prayers are not tenable and not appropriate for judicial interpretation”.
The Bench junked the petition and imposed costs on Mr. Yadav to the tune of Rs. 50,000 to be deposited with the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee within four weeks. “This PIL is ex-facie untenable. You come to the judiciary with such a prayer? There cannot any judicial interference here. We cannot pass such orders,” the CJI said.
The Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi had only last year reiterated its stand to Pakistan that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir (including the so-called ‘Gilgit-Baltistan’ region), is an integral part of India by virtue of its accession in 1947.
India had told Islamabad that the Pakistani SC did not have jurisdiction over the ‘PoK’ region but the people from the region will be able to challenge their top court’s decisions in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.