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SC stalls probe against Major Aditya
07 March 2018, 11:44 | Damon Campbell
Major Aditya Not Named In Shopian Firing FIR: J&K Government Tells SC
As Naphade reiterated the stand of the Jammu and Kashmir government, Chief Justice Misra said: "Major Aditya Kumar is an Army officer and not an ordinary criminal".
A three-judge bench stayed the investigation into the Shopian firing, and by extension Major Aditya's role or lack thereof in it, till the next date of hearing on April 24. "After all, it is a case of an Army officer, not an ordinary criminal", the chief justice observed.
In its report, the Mufti government complained that the Army does not respond to its letters and asked "Are they above the law?" and "Whether Army has a license to kill?".
During the hearing, Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing for the GoI, said that under provisions of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), no FIR can be lodged against army personnel for work done on duty and without the prior sanction of the central government.
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To a query by the court on whether he would be named subsequently, Naphade said it would depend on the investigation. The state government then sought to assert its authority to register an FIR and investigate but the A-G opposed this, saying the judgments being relied upon by Naphade have ignored ruling by a Constitution Bench. The Army had said they opened fire in "self-defence" to prevent "lynching of a Junior Commissioned Officer and burning of vehicles" by a mob. As per reports by PTI, a FIR was registered against personnel of 10 Garhwal Rifles under sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Ranbir Penal Code (the penal code applicable in Jammu and Kashmir).
The deaths of four youths in army firing in a Shopian village on Sunday night landed the force in fresh trouble on a day the Supreme Court offered it respite in the incident of firing in January in the same district that had claimed three lives. Copies of the FIR available locally and visible of social media clearly show Major Aditya's name mentioned in the FIR.
To this, the court asked whether Major Aditya was the only person from the army whose names featured in the narrative of the FIR, and does the statement of Naphade mean that Major Aditya will not be named as an accused in future?
Reacting immediately, Venugopal retorted: "Licence to kill?"
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