Naveen Bharat Editorial
Srinagar: In a significant judgment, the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court has ruled that all Kashmiri Hindus are not Kashmiri Pandits.
“There is no denying the fact that in common parlance, Kashmiri Pandits are a community of Kashmiri speaking Brahmins who have been living in Kashmir for generations and are uniquely identified by their dress, customs and traditions etc. Kashmiri Pandits There is a distinct identifiable community, distinct from Kashmiri Pandits. Other Hindus residing in the Valley such as Rajputs, Brahmins, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and many others besides Kashmiri Pandits,” Justice Sanjeev Kumar said under the Prime Minister’s notice to Kashmiri non-Kashmiris. Rejecting the petition seeking appointment against the quota of jobs provided for migrant Pandits, the minister said the package.
He said the petitioners, who are mostly Kshatriyas, Rajputs, Scheduled Castes non-Kashmiri Brahmins etc., find it difficult to be treated as Kashmiri Pandits and accept the benefits of the Prime Minister’s revised package for return and resettlement. The number of Kashmiri migrants was put into effect by the 2009 rules read with SRO 425 of 2017.
The counsel for the petitioner had argued that in the absence of any definition of Kashmiri Pandits given in the SRO, all Hindus, who are living in Kashmir and do not migrate like non-migrant Kashmiri Pandits, are treated as “Kashmiri Pandits”. should go.
However, the judge said, “I regret my inability to accept such a broad definition of Kashmiri Pandits.” It is true that neither in SRO 425 nor in the 2009 Rules, as amended by SRO 425 of 2017, the term “Kashmiri Pandit family” has been defined. However, as defined in Rule 2 (CA), the term “Kashmiri Pandit” means a Kashmiri Pandit family who has not migrated from Kashmir after November 1, 1989 and is presently residing in the Kashmir Valley”.
In their petition, some non-migrant Kashmiri Hindus had sought to specify quota for Kashmiri migrants and non-migrant Pandits out of 1997 posts advertised by the Government vide notification dated 01.12.
Justice Sanjeev Kumar ordered, “For the foregoing reasons, I find no merit in the petition and accordingly, the same is dismissed along with the application concerned.”
The judge said that on the same set of principles and laws, a petition by the Sikh community seeking equal benefits under the Pradhan Mantri Yojana was earlier dismissed by the court.
This Court in its judgment dated 14.02.2019 rejected the contention of the petitioner Sikh community that SRO 425 dated 10 October 2017 was ultra vires.