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"No Sanction Under AFSPA Obtained" : Supreme Court Stays Criminal Proceedings Against Army Officers Accused Of Killing Civilians In Nagaland

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
20 July 2022 2:44 PM GMT
No Sanction Under AFSPA Obtained : Supreme Court Stays Criminal Proceedings Against Army Officers Accused Of Killing Civilians In Nagaland
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The Supreme Court has stayed criminal proceedings against Indian Army Officers accused of killing civilians in Nagaland taking note of the fact that mandatory previous sanction as required under Section 6 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 has not been obtained.On December 4, 2021, they had allegedly fired at a pickup truck carrying eight miners in eastern Nagaland's Oting...

The Supreme Court has stayed criminal proceedings against Indian Army Officers accused of killing civilians in Nagaland taking note of the fact that mandatory previous sanction as required under Section 6 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 has not been obtained.

On December 4, 2021, they had allegedly fired at a pickup truck carrying eight miners in eastern Nagaland's Oting village. Later, FIRs under Sections 302, 307, 326, 201, 34  with Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) were lodged in connection with this incident. Following this incident, the Nagaland Assembly, in a special session held,  "unanimously resolved" to demand the Government of India to repeal Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 from the North East, specifically from Nagaland.

Thirty Indian Army personnel, including a Major, were named in a chargesheet filed by the Nagaland Police last month. 

The wives of some of these officers had approached the Apex court by filing writ petitions seeking quashing of Suo Moto FIR against the officers.

The court, while considering these petitions, noted that the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 is applicable to the place in Nagaland where the incident took place. Section 6 of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 stipulates that 'No prosecution, suit or other legal proceedings shall be instituted except with the previous sanction of the Central Government, against any person in respect of anything done or purported to be done in exercise of the powers conferred by this Act.'

The bench was informed by the Additional Solicitor General that no previous sanction has been granted by the Central Government and that the question of sanction is awaiting consideration at the appropriate level.

"In view of the admitted position that mandatory previous sanction as required under Section 6 of the Armed Forces (Special 4 Powers) Act, 1958 has not been obtained, we are constrained to pass an interim order staying further proceedings pursuant to FIR No. 27 of 2021/Final Report of the Special Investigation Team/Chargesheet", the bench observed in the order.

The court also noted that it has entertained similar Writ Petitions filed by close family members of officers of the Indian Army.

Case : Rabina Ghale and another versus Union of India and others | WP(crl) 265/2022

Also read: Nagaland Civilian Deaths: NHRC Takes Suo Moto Cognizance, Seeks Report From Centre, Nagaland Govt Over 'Botched Up Operation'

"Repeal 'AFSPA' From North-East": Nagaland Assembly Passes Unanimous Resolution In Special Session

Click here to Read/Download Order


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