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Centre's nod needed for trial of armed forces men: SC

Delhi,Defence/Security,Immigration/Law/Rights, Tue, 01 May 2012 IANS

New Delhi, May 1 (IANS) The Supreme Court Tuesday said that armed forces personnel operating in areas under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), facing allgations of committing excesses could not be tried by the criminal courts without the prior sanction of the central government.


Apex court bench headed by Justice B.S. Chauhan said that army personnel can only be tried by the criminal courts only after army authorities have declined to exercise the option of holding court martial proceedings against them.



The court said this in a judgment in a case where the army has contended that its personnel operating in disturbed areas of Jammu and Kashmir, northeast and Assam, covered under the AFSPA, could not be tried without the prior sanction of the central government.



The court was hearing a case in which the army personnel are accused of killing five people of Pathribal village in Anantnag district of the Kashmir Valley in March 2000. These people were suspected to be militants and killed by the army in the wake of Chittisinghpora incident of March 28, 2000, in which 36 Sikhs were massacred in a gurdwara.


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