Yasin Malik’s appearance in Supreme Court raises concerns

Yasin Malik, the chief of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and serving a life sentence in Tihar Jail for a terror funding case, appeared in person before the Supreme Court. The court was taken aback as there was no prior order requesting his physical presence.

The Central government also expressed concern over Malik’s appearance in the Supreme Court, questioning the absence of any such order from the top court mandating his presence.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, informed the court that there was no official order directing Yasin Malik to appear before the Supreme Court for the hearing related to a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) plea against a Jammu court order. Moreover, Mehta stated that the Ministry of Home Affairs had issued a directive not to bring Yasin Malik out from jail.

Due to the unexpected nature of the situation and the serious security implications it posed, the bench of justices, Surya Kant and Dipankar Datta, recused themselves from hearing the matter. They acknowledged that there was no prior order for Malik’s physical appearance and pointed out that virtual modes of appearance were available.

The court scheduled the matter to be heard by another bench in which Justice Datta would not be a member, listing the case after four weeks.

The Jammu Court had sought Malik’s physical appearance for cross-examination of witnesses in relation to the killing of four Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel and the abduction of Rubaiya Sayeed, daughter of Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, back in 1989. However, during the last hearing, the Supreme Court had stayed the Jammu court’s order, preventing Malik’s physical presence until further notice.