The Supreme Court today rejected a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking investigation into the killing of Kashmiri Pandits in Jammu and Kashmir nearly three decades ago and the prosectuion of Kashmiri separatists accused of the murders and forcing the community out of the Valley.

Dismissing the PIL filed by an NGO called Roots in Kashmir, the apex court said it is difficult to have any probe and collect evidence on the issue more than 27 years after the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits. “Almost 27 years have gone by,” the court asked.

“Where the evidence will come from? Such a plea should have been moved long time ago,” the Supreme Court observed.

The plea had also sought trial of persons including separatist leaders Yasin Malik and Bitta Karate for their alleged offences against Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley in 1989-90.

The petitioners had told the Supreme Court that they need a “sense of justice” in the case. “Due to the exodus, many people could not join the investigation,” they said, addind that no chargesheet could be filed in many cases in all these years.

“The community has legitimate expectation. The successive governments have repeatedly made fake promises that the Pandits could return. No one is protecting them,” they said.

The court, however, raised doubts over the petition and questioned seriousness of the petitioner, wondering if the NGO was doing it for publicity.