SC sought reply from Centre, J&K, NHRC on armed forces’ rights in insurgency-hit areas

Supreme Court sought reply from Centre, J&K, NHRC on armed forces’ rights in insurgency-hit areas

New Delhi, Feb 25 The Supreme Court today sought responses from the Centre, Jammu and Kashmir government and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on a PIL seeking a policy to safeguard the rights of armed forces personnel in insurgency-hit areas.

PIL filed by Kajal Mishra and Preeti Kedar Gokhale

The public
interest litigation (PIL) filed by Kajal Mishra, daughter of a retired Naik
Subedar, and Preeti Kedar Gokhale, daughter of serving Lt. Col. Kedar Gokhale,
has sought the formulation of a policy to put in place a mechanism to safeguard
the armed forces personnel’s rights during the discharge of their bonafide
military duty when unruly mobs resort to stone pelting.

the armed forces personnel of their rights 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 PIL said.

A bench of
Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna issued the notice as the
petitioners said they were “aggrieved and dissatisfied” by the
“substantial inaction” by the Centre on the violation of the human
rights of armed forces personnel during their bonafide duties in the counter-insurgency
operations in the trouble-torn state, including incidents in Shopian.

“More often than not, there are FIRs filed against the troopers and soldiers, if they take any action in retaliation or in self-defence, against the perpetrators of stone pelting,” the petitioners contended.

The Supreme Court of India
The Supreme Court of India. (File Photo: IANS)

They also
said that no such action was taken against the perpetrators of violence
targeted against the armed forces personnel.

petitioners have also expressed shock at the statement by the state government that
said 9,760 FIRs against stone pelters were supposed to be withdrawn as they
were first-time offenders.

The petition
contended that FIRs could not be withdrawn without following due process of law
under the code of criminal procedure.