New Delhi, Feb 12: The Supreme Court on Monday stayed an FIR against Major Aditya, sought a response from the Centre, Jammu and Kashmir government within 2 weeks in connection with connection with the killing of civilians during a firing incident Shopian last month.
The top court also ordered that no coercive action should be initiated against the Army personnel.
Speaking to media, SC has issued a notice to Centre & Jammu and Kashmir government. We have been asked to serve a copy of the petition to the office of Attorney General of India and the Court has requested AGI to clarify the stand of Centre in two weeks. J&K govt also has to clarify its stand in two weeks.
“On our prayer the Court has directed that no coercive action will be taken against Major Aditya Kumar in pursuance of the FIR lodged against him. It is a positive encouraging day”, she added.
On our prayer the Court has directed that no coercive action will be taken against Major Aditya Kumar in pursuance of the FIR lodged against him. It is a positive encouraging day: Aishwarya Bhati, Advocate pic.twitter.com/wZMyk1h2CO
— ANI (@ANI) February 12, 2018
The stay order came after a father of the Army officer, Lieutenant Colonel Karamveer Singh filed a petition before the court, seeking the quashing of an FIR registered by the Jammu and Kashmir Police.
An apex bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra on Friday fixed February 12 for the hearing, after petitioner’s lawyer Aishwarya Bhati sought urgent hearing of the case.
Major Kumar and other soldiers of 10 Garhwal Rifles have been accused of opening fire and fatally injuring three civilians when a group of people pelted stone at the army convoy near Ganowpora village in Shopian district on January 27.
The FIR would hurt the morale of Army personnel in discharging duty, Lt Col Karamveer Singh stated in his plea filed on Thursday through advocate Aishwarya Bhati, news agency IANS reported.
“The manner in which the lodging of the FIR has been portrayed and projected by the political leadership and administrative higher-ups of the state reflects the extremely hostile atmosphere in the state.
“In these circumstances, the petitioner is left with no other viable option but to approach this Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India for protection of valuable Fundamental Rights of his son and himself, enshrined under Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India,” the plea asserted.
It said that Major Kumar was wrongly and arbitrarily named as the incident relates to an Army convoy on bonafide military duty in an area under the AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Acts), which was isolated by an “unruly and deranged” stone-pelting mob.
The intention of the Major was to protect Army personnel and property, and the fire was inflicted only to impair and provide a safe escape.
“The unruly mob was requested to disperse and not to obstruct military persons in the performance of their duties and not to damage government property…
“The unruly behavior of the unlawful assembly reached its peak when they got hold of a Junior Commissioned Officer and was in the process of lynching him to death.
It was at this moment that warning shots were fired… which as per the said terms of engagement is the last resort to be taken…,” the plea said.
It also demanded some directions to issue guidelines to safeguard rights of soldiers and adequate compensation.