The Supreme Court on Monday deferred the hearing in a petition filed by over 300 Indian Army personnel challenging FIRs against them in areas governed under Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). The serving soldiers and officers of the Indian Army have sought specific guidelines by the central government to protect their bonafide actions under AFSPA. The case will now be heard on September 4.
The army personnel had in their plea claimed that they were being “persecuted” and proceeded against for performing their duties in “disturbed areas”. The hearing was deferred by a top court bench comprising Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Deepak Gupta.
The petition also seeks an investigation against those people and organisations who allegedly target armed forces personnel by registering cases against them. They have also called for provision of compensation for those personnel who have been named in fake cases.
Indian Army personnel, ranging from the position of Section Commanders to Commanding Officers of the Section, Platoon, Company and Battalion, had filed the petition in the top court.
In their petition, the petitioners have claimed that the registration of cases against those serving in highly disturbed and insurgency-hit areas and the subsequent probe by the civil police or the CBI is a big setback for them and a major detriment for the armed forces.
The filing of the plea by serving Army officers assumed significance as a special investigation team of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) recently filed chargesheets in two separate encounter cases in Manipur against armed forces. Army men have been charged with murder in the cases.