The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Jammu and Kashmir High Court to pass verdict within a week, on a plea seeking a proper burial of Mohammad Amir Magrey, a civilian who was killed in a gunfight in Srinagar’s Hyderpora area in November, Live Law reported.
Magrey was one of the four persons killed in an operation by security forces at a commercial complex in Hyderpora on November 15. The police had identified the four persons as Pakistani militant Haider, hardware shop owner Mohammad Altaf Bhat, dentist-turned-entrepreneur Mudasir Gul and Magrey, who worked at Gul’s office.
The bodies of the dead were not handed over to their families. On November 16, they were buried by the authorities in the Wadder Payeen graveyard in Kupwara district.
While the police had claimed Magrey was a militant, his family has maintained he was innocent.
Mohammad Amir Magrey’s father, Latief Magrey, had moved the Jammu and Kashmir High Court in December seeking his son’s body to be handed over so that a burial could be done according to the rituals.
On May 27, Justice Sanjeev Kumar accepted the plea and directed the Jammu and Kashmir administration to exhume Magrey’s body and send it to his native village in Ramban.
Kumar also ordered that if Latief Magrey is forced to perform the last rites at the Wadder Payeen graveyard, then the administration should pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the family. The judge had passed the order considering that the body might have decayed to an advanced stage and in that case could not be moved to Ramban.
However, the Union Territory administration had opposed the order. On June 3, a division bench of the Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court put a stay on the order and listed it for hearing on June 28.
However, on Friday, Latief Magrey moved the Supreme Court, challenging the stay order on the exhumation of his son’s body.
On Monday, Senior Advocate Anand Grover told the vacation bench of Justices Surya Kant and JB Pardiwala that his client was not pressing for exhumation of the body, Live Law reported. He, however, wants to perform the last rites as per religious practices.
“I will perform the religious rites itself and I have the right to perform the rites and not the state,” Grover submitted.
He also requested that the compensation of Rs 5 lakh as ordered by Justice Kumar in May be paid.
Justice Surya Kant then said that the bench will request the High Court to consider the petition, reported Live Law.
“We’ll request the HC to consider your prayer of alternative relief tomorrow [June 28] or within one week,” the bench said. “That much faith we have in the system.”
The Supreme Court disposed of the petition and listed it for hearing before the division bench of Jammu and Kashmir High Court.