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The Supreme Court today issued notice to the Central government, the State of Jammu & Kashmir, and the National Human Rights Commission in a petition seeking the protection of Armed Forces personnel against human rights violations.
The petition has been filed by two women – a daughter of a retired Army officer, and a daughter of a serving Army officer.
The petition cites various instances of violence against Armed Forces personnel, including stone pelting in Kashmir. The petition states,
“The Petitioners are daughter of Army officials, serving and retired respectively and greatly disturbed by the incidents of unruly and disruptive mobs pelting soldiers and army convoys in counter insurgency area like Shopian, J&K etc. The Petitioners are further disturbed by the troops in the Indian Army, having to suffer the ire of stone pelters, while they are discharging their duty of maintaining peace and security in the area of their deployment.“
It is alleged that cases are registered against Army personnel instead of the perpetrators of such violence. The petitioners clarify that they have no grievance if any FIR is filed against Army personnel for crimes committed by them. However, they are aggrieved that no similar action is taken against the perpetrators of violence.
“The Petitioners have no grievance to any Complaint/FIR being filed against any armed forces personnel, for any act done by them, which amounts to any criminal offence under the law for the time being in force. owever, they are very much aggrieved by the fact that no similar action is taken against the perpetrators of violence, against the Armed Force personnel.”
The petition goes on to note that the former Chief Minister of State of Jammu & Kashmir declared in the State Assembly that 9760 FIRs registered against the stone pelters shall be withdrawn as they were first-time offenders.
Terming the same as shocking, the petitioners have submitted the State is not entitled to withdraw an FIR, once registered, without following the due process of law, as provided in the CrPC/RPC.
Depriving the Armed Forces Personnel of his right to prosecute a person, who has committed an offence against him, is a violation of his fundamental right to life and liberty including the right to legal recourse, the petition states.
The petition prays for the formulation of a policy to safeguard the rights of Armed Forces personnel against human rights violations by unruly mobs or individuals who attack them while performing their military duty.
Read the petition below.
Read the order below.