New Delhi, Nov 27 | The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected the plea of a student organization linked to Popular Front of India (PFI), allegedly linked to banned SIMI, seeking exemption for students of Jammu and Kashmir from payment of education fees.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta vehemently opposed the petition referring to Campus Front of India (CFI), a front organization of PFI with an avowed objective to oppose the restrictions imposed in Jammu and Kashmir post revocation of Article 370. Mehta told a three-judge bench headed by Justice N.V. Raman that CFI parent organization is PFI.
“They (PFI) have active participation in the activities of the banned SIMI, Students Islamic Movement of India (involved in a number of terrorist activities in the country), and the members of parent organization (PFI) has been accused of UAPA, Unlawful Activities (Prevention Act) offences”, contended Mehta before the court.
The petitioners claimed they have moved the court under Article 32 of the Constitution for infringement of fundamental rights to life with dignity. “Students studying out of state of Jammu and Kashmir who are suffering from shortage of money being out of touch with their families due to communication shutdown, which is creating impediment in depositing their education fees and meet personal expenses”, said the petition.
Mehta retorted the students mentioned in the plea have paid the fees. “All banks are operating in the region”, said Mehta.
The court queried the CFI counsel: “You (CFI) are not students, instead an organization, which espouses the cause of students… the parents of the students can very well approach the High Court concerned, why have you come to the Supreme Court?”
The counsel emphasized the matter concerned the fundamental rights and that the court should hear it. Justice B.R. Gavai, one of the judges on the bench, said: “Then, we should amend the Constitution and delete Article 226 and entertain all petitions under Article 32 in this court.”
Article 226 empowers high courts to issue directions, orders or writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto and certiorari. Such directions, orders or writs may be issued for enforcing fundamental rights or for any other purpose.