Who is Justice Koul?

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SRINAGAR: 79 year old Justice (Rtd) M. L. Koul has been appointed to probe the killings of four persons in Gagran Shopian by the State Government. Koul was in the news when in gross violations of norms he had been given three consecutive extensions as Chairman Advisory Board on contentious Public Safety Act.

 The former Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had appointed Justice (retd) M L Koul to enquire into the causes, circumstances and conspiracy, if any, in Ganderbal fake encounter killings of 2008. The report of the commission did not reveal anything substantial and consequently it ceased to exist.

M.L. Koul, who retired as judge of Haryana and Punjab High Court was appointed as Chairman of the Board in consultation with the Chief Justice of JK High Court vide SRO No. 406 dated: 22-11-2000, initially for a period of five years. He has been given three extensions in subsequent years.  

The first extension was given to him vide Government order number Home (PB-V) 3016 of 2005 dated: 2-12-2005, while his services were extended for another three years vide Government order number Home/PV-2422 of 2008 dated 23-12-2008.

 The last extension was given to him vide order number Home/PB-V/2712 of 2008 dated 26-12-2011 and he held the office till November 2012.

Last year, during Assembly session, Peoples Democratic Party had resented the move about his consecutive extensions and had said that there were 22 retired judges in the state who can head Advisory Board on PSA.    

Highly placed sources said that being the Chairman Advisory Board on PSA not many cases on PSA were reviewed. “I don’t think he is the right person to probe the Shopian killings,” one of the officials from law department said.

Bashir Ahmed Wani who acted as a member of Advisory Board on PSA when Koul was the Chairman said that he (M.L.Koul) is not a credible person but, “I hope he would prove his mettle this time,” Wani said.

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