AFSPA: SC to hear plea filed by 300 soldiers challenging FIRs against them

The Supreme Court on August 14 agreed to hear a plea filed by over 300 soldiers challenging the registration of FIRs against them in connection with military operations in the areas where the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is in force.

The SC bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and comprising Justice A M Khanwilkar considered the submissions of lawyer Aishwarya Bhati that the soldiers are being prosecuted for performing duties in disturbed areas.

She on behalf of petitioners said that prosecution of armed forces personnel is against the provisions of AFSPA and AFSPA immunity was vital for the soldiers to undertake operations against insurgents who are armed with sophisticated weapons.

The bench stated that they will hear the petition on August 20.

Citing several instances in the petition filed, the petitioners claimed that the registration of cases against those doing their duty in disturbed and insurgency-hit areas and the subsequent probe by the civil police or the Central Bureau of Investigation will lower morale and jeopardize the efficiency of operations against ultras and endanger national security.