Govt to seek cancellation of Andhra HC order on encounters

Govt will seek before SC in cancellation of AP HC order directing registration of murder cases against personnel involved in encounters with Maoists.

New Delhi: The government will seek before the Supreme Court the cancellation of the Andhra Pradesh High Court order directing registration of murder cases against security personnel involved in ambushes and encounters with Maoists saying it will have "dangerous portents and implications".

Security forces engaged in such operations are perturbed over the order, which was issued in 2009 on the petition of the AP Civil Liberties Committee and will go for review in the apex court now.

The AP Police Officers Association had challenged the order which directed mandatory registration of criminal cases against police personnel involved in all exchanges of fire leading to death of a person.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has decided to take cudgels on behalf of the security forces and contest the order in the apex court stating that the high court order, if implemented, will have "dangerous portents and implications".

The MHA in its counter-affidavit filed in the apex court has said that the the AP High Court has "failed to appreciate the founding principles of a modern nation state and the nature of its sovereign powers and incorrectly interpreted laws and statutes, which are not relevant to the context."

"The effort of the petitioners to demonise the state and emasculate the functioning of security forces from discharging their duties will have terrible consequences for national security. If the judgement of the Andhra Pradesh High Court comes to be universally applied in all cases of exchanges of fire resulting in the death of an insurgent or a militant, the natural reaction of all security force personnel would be to disengage and retreat, to avoid a prolonged criminal investigation and a trial in their private capacities.

"This would leave the field open to insurgents and terrorists of all hues to target the state and will result in a complete state of anarchy, threatening the very fabric of India," the MHA said in its affidavit.

"Further, such legal principles have not been invoked anywhere in the world, which in essence shows the seeds of impairment of the nation state and risk to the life of its institutions like the legislature, the executive and the judiciary and consequently extinguish all rights of law abiding citizens," it said.

The MHA cited recent incidents of Naxal violence and killings in Maoist affected states to buttress its point.

The incidents that have been chronicled include raining of bullets on a IAF helicopter in Chhattisgarh`s Chintagufa recently, planting of bomb inside a troopers body in Jharkhand and the 2010 Dantewada Naxal ambush which killed 76 security men.