Claims the Jammu and Kashmir High Court is inaccessible are not supported by a report from the Chief Justice of that court, the Supreme Court said today. The observation comes after child rights activists who alleged illegal detention of children in Kashmir told the top court they were unable to approach the High Court to seek an inquiry into the matter. The Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, had described the matter as "very, very serious" and said he would visit the court after getting a report.
"We have received (a report from the Chief Justice (of Jammu and Kashmir High Court). The report does not support your (Huzefi Ahmadi, the lawyer for the activists) claim," a Supreme Court bench headed by the Chief Justice and including Justices SA Bobde and SA Nazeer said.
However, the top court also said it had received "conflicting reports" and since the petition raised "substantial issues and pertains to alleged detention of children" it would hear the plea.
"We have also received conflicting reports (and) since it is involving children we are seeking (further) reports," the court added, directing the Juvenile Panel of Jammu and Kashmir to submit a statement on the matter within a week.
On Monday the Supreme Court heard a petition by child rights activists Enakshi Ganguly and Shanta Sinha on the illegal detention of children aged between six and 18. The petitioners also alleged young children and teenagers were enduring hardship as a result of a security lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir after the centre withdrew special status under Article 370.
The court, when faced with the petition, had asked the activists to approach the Jammu and Kashmir High Court. When told that the court was inaccessible, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi labelled the matter "very, very serious".
"Why is it difficult to go to the Jammu and Kashmir High Court? Is anyone coming in the way? We want to know from the Chief Justice (High Court). If required, I will go to the Jammu and Kashmir High Court," the Chief Justice told Huzefi Ahmadi.
"It's very, very serious if people are unable to approach the High Court. I will myself visit Srinagar," he added.
However, Chief Justice Gogoi also warned the petitioners, saying they should be "ready for the consequences" if the report from the Jammu and Kashmir High Court was contrary to their allegations.
With input from PTI
Get Breaking news, live coverage, and Latest News from India and around the world on NDTV.com. Catch all the Live TV action on NDTV 24x7 and NDTV India. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for latest news and live news updates.