Basic rights in India have become ‘luxuries’: Mehbooba writes to Indian CJ

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In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, the President of Peoples Democratic Party, Mehbooba Mufti, has said that basic rights in India have now become “luxuries” and “entitlements” bestowed upon only those who toe the government’s line on political, social and religious matters.

Mehbooba Mufti in a letter to Chief Justice of India, D Y Chandrachud, said that the trust deficit and growing alienation has only widened in IIOJK since the abrogation of Article 370 in 2019.

“I write to you with a deep sense of concern and worry about the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Your recent observations on the inability of lower judiciary to grant bail in ordinary cases in a functioning democracy as ours should have been adopted as a directive rather than just being consigned to a single column story churned out in newspapers,” Mufti said in the letter posted on her Twitter handle.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Andhra Pradesh Judicial Academy, the Indian Chief Justice had said that over 63 lakh cases across India have been considered to be delayed due to non-availability of counsel and over 14 lakh cases are delayed as they await some kind of document or record.

Mehbooba Mufti said the fundamental rights enshrined in the Indian Constitution and guaranteed to all Indian citizens “are being brazenly impinged upon”.

“Unfortunately, it is these basic rights that have now become luxuries and entitlements bestowed upon only those select citizens who toe the Government’s line on political, social and religious matters,” she said.

She further said that since 2019, the fundamental rights of every resident of Kashmir have been suspended arbitrarily and the constitutional guarantees given at the time of its accession were suddenly and unconstitutionally abrogated.

She said hundreds of youngsters are languishing in jails outside the territory as under-trials and their condition is exacerbated since they belong to poor families who lack the wherewithal to get legal aid.—KMS