July, 8 2016:
1,528 cases of alleged extra-judicial killings in Manipur between the Years 2000-2012 by the Indian Army.
In a Landmark Judgement Supreme Court has ruled today that in areas under the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), the Indian Army or other Paramilitary forces cannot use “excessive or retaliatory force”.
The Apex Court verdict, is a fatal blow to the immunity now being enjoyed by the armed forces.
It was passed in petitions demanding Central Bureau of Investigation or any special investigation team, SIT, probe into the alleged 1,528 cases of alleged extra-judicial killings in Manipur between the Years 2000-2012 by the Indian Army.
Apex court agreed to the plea to have an independent inquiry into the cases of alleged extra-judicial killings in the North Eastern state.
A bench, however, reserved the decision on the agency which would conduct the investigation. It would be announced after it receives the entire collated data of these cases from Menaka Guruswamy, advocate , who is assisting the Bench in the matter.
The Bench headed by Justice MB Lokur rejected the Centre’s plea that criminal courts can’t have jurisdiction to decide cases against military men.
Bench held that the 10 commandments of the chief of army staff will have to be followed in all the areas, including the ones under Afspa.
The court added that the army was always at liberty to initiate a court of inquiry against the erring personnel.
Adv. Guruswamy is to collect data of 62 cases which were earlier investigated by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
The Afspa Law grants special powers to the armed forces in notified areas to arrest, conduct searches and seizures. It also provides immunity to the the armed forces from prosecution.
The AFSPA law makes it mandatory for the local police to take the Centre’s permission before initiating prosecution against the erring personnel.
The Centre Govt. defended the killings, with a plea that the Killings are “part of the Union of India’s sovereign function discharged through the Army as they are part of efforts to combat elements of insurgency when the country is threatened by anti-national forces”.
Matter will now be taken up after four weeks.
Read AFSPA Law Here-
Read Full Text of Judgement Here-