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Friday, December 06, 2019

SC agrees to examine plea seeking protection of Army personnel from unruly mobs

The plea, filed by the daughters of a retired CRPF Jawan and a serving army officer, also questions the withdrawal of more than 9000 FIRs against stone-pelters by the J&K government.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: February 25, 2019 1:11:10 pm
Ever since the first India-Pakistan war soon after Independence, Kashmir has never been at peace. The plea, filed by the daughters of a retired CRPF Jawan and a serving army officer, also questions the withdrawal of more than 9000 FIRs against stone-pelters by the J&K government. (file)

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to examine a plea seeking the framing of a policy to protect security personnel against human rights violations by unruly mobs or individuals while discharging their duties.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna issued notices to the Centre, Ministry of Defence, Jammu and Kashmir and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on the plea filed by the daughters of a retired CRPF Jawan and a serving officer.

The petitioners, 19-year-old Preeti Kedar Gokhale and 20-year-old Kajal Mishra,  said they are “greatly disturbed by the incidents of unruly and disruptive mobs” pelting stones at soldiers and Army convoys in Jammu and Kashmir.

“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,” the plea has said.

Referring to FIRs being lodged against Army personnel, the plea said cases are being lodged if action was taken against the stone pelters in retaliation or self-defence.

“The petitioners have no grievance to any complaint/FIR being filed against any Armed force personnel for any act done by them which amounts to any criminal offence under the law for the time being in force. However, they are very much aggrieved by the fact that no similar action is taken against the perpetrators of violence,” it said.

The petitioners also questioned the withdrawal of more than 9000 FIRs against stone-pelters by the J&K government.

“It is pertinent to note that firstly, the state is not entitled to withdraw an FIR, once registered against a person, without following the due process of the law as provided in the CrPC/RPC; secondly, the complainant or the victim of the offence is entitled to prosecute the perpetrator of a crime against him,” the plea said.

Last year in February, the J&K government led by then chief minister Mehbooba Mufti had withdrawn stone-pelting cases filed against 9,730 people, including first-time offenders, between 2008 and 2017. In a written reply to a question in the Assembly, Mufti said her government has also recommended giving amnesty to more than 4,000 people, who are said to be involved in minor incidents of stone pelting over the past two years.

The same year in June, Union Minister Rajnath Singh also announced in Srinagar that the Centre had decided to withdraw cases against “youth misled into stone pelting”.

with PTI inputs

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