Retired SC Judge To Probe NC Worker's Death18 November 2011
Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir government Friday appointed a Commission of Inquiry headed by a retired Supreme Court judge to probe into the alleged custodial death of a National Conference worker Syed Mohammad Yusuf recently. 'The government in exercise of the powers conferred by under Section 3 of the Jammu and Kashmir Commission of Enquiry Act, 1962 has appointed a Commission of Enquiry consisting of Justice H S Bedi- a former Judge of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India,' an official said here. The Commission so appointed shall enquire into the causes and circumstances leading to the death of Yusuf and fix the responsibility for the lapses, if any committed by any person in discharge of his duties under law, he said. The Commission shall perform all the functions necessary for holding the enquiry or incidental there to and submit its report to the government within a period of six weeks, he added. 'The government further being of the opinion that it is necessary so to do, has directed that the provisions of the sub-section (2),(3),(4),(5) and(6) of Section 5 of the said Act shall be applicable to the Commission,' he said. The family of Yusuf, who allegedly died in police custody last month, had demanded a CBI probe in the case involving chief minister Omar Abdullah. However, a special anti-corruption court rejected a plea seeking probe by Central Bureau of Investigation into the custodial death. The move had come a day after the Supreme Court issued notices to the Centre and the J&K government on a plea seeking the CBI probe into Yusuf's death. The apex court asked the state government to submit its response within two weeks that why the case could not be handed over to the CBI. Yusuf allegedly died in the police custody after he was handed over to the Crime Branch on September 29 by Omar. He was accused of taking money from two party workers. However, the family of Yusuf claimed that he died after he was allegedly beaten up at Omar's residence. Earlier, the Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court had rejected the request of the state government to spare the services of a sitting judge for probing the case. Following the rejection of the request by the Chief Justice, the state government had written a letter to Union Law Minister Salman Khursheed seeking names of three retired Supreme Court judges out of whom one will be appointed to probe the incident. The death of Yusuf had sparked a major political row as another National Conference worker Abdul Salam Reshi had alleged the deceased had taken Rs 34 lakh from him and Rs 84 lakh from another party worker Mohammad Yousuf Bhat for getting them berths in the state legislative council.