CM assures legal protection to Army
‘Ready To Amend CrPC’
GK NEWS NETWORK
Jammu, Nov 24: Allaying fears of Army on the issue of revocation of AFSPA, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said the state government could consider restoring two provisions of CrPC to make them applicable to the state so that security forces have legal protection.
“They (security forces) have pointed out that in all other states of the country, Army and paramilitary forces enjoy protection under the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), which is not applicable in Jammu and Kashmir,” Omar said in an informal chat with reporters last night.
Omar admitted that a final nod to revoke AFSPA vested with Governor NN Vohra and not the state cabinet as maintained by him earlier.
Omar said his Government was ready to give Army all those powers, which they enjoyed under CrPC in other States.
He said his government may include the omitted sections of CrPC to make the law on par with the rest of country.
When CrPC was applied for the state of J&K, two sections - 45 and 197(A) - dealing with Army and security forces were deleted.
While section 45 deals with protection of members of the Armed Forces from arrest, section 197-A deals with prosecution of civil servants.
“No member of the Armed Forces of the Union shall be arrested for anything done or purported to be done by him in the discharge of his official duties except after obtaining the consent of the Central Government,” according to section 45 of CrPC.
As per Section 197-A, no courts will take cognizance of an offence committed by a public servant “while acting or purporting to act in the discharge of his official duty” until a sanction was accorded by the Central Government.
The Chief Minister, who is pushing for lifting of AFSPA from parts of J&K, said such provisions could be extended to the state for providing safeguards to the Army in its functioning. Army has voiced its reservations on revocation of AFSPA.
During the last Unified Command meeting chaired by the Chief Minister on November 9, CRPF had sought implementation of CrPC in the state to provide them legal cover for operation if government wants to remove AFSPA.
“There are two issues - one the rights of the Army and other legal immunity to them - which they have raised during interactions,” he said, adding “Army has apprehension that SHOs or Havaldars would arrest their jawans and they will get entangled in unnecessary cases” if AFSPA is revoked.
To another question, he said the Governor has to take a final decision on revocation of AFSPA. Earlier, the Chief Minister had maintained that the Governor shall have to go by the recommendations of the state cabinet on revocation of the Disturbed Areas Act (DAA) – the carrier for AFSPA.
Omar also said that a team of officers would be sent to New Delhi for talks on the AFSPA issue. He said Northern Command chief Lt Gen K T Parnaik has been requested to give his representative for the delegation.
The State delegation comprised Home Secretary B R Sharma, Director General of Police (DGP) Kuldeep Khoda and one of the Additional DGPs. Though the name of Additional DG Armed/Law and Order, K Rajendra was doing the rounds for inclusion in the delegation, reports said that he was out of station.
“If Rajendra returned to the State by the time the delegation leaves for the State, he would be part of it. Otherwise, another ADGP would be included in the delegation by the Chief Minister’’, reports said.
Debate over the partial revocation of AFSPA began last month when Omar announced moves to revoke the Act from parts of the state “within few days”.
The Army maintains that any tampering with the law will “handicap” their capability to conduct counter insurgency operations.
AFSPA was imposed in some parts of the State in 1990 with the outbreak of militancy. It was extended to entire State, except Ladakh, in 2001.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 24 Nov 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 24 Nov 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 25 Nov 2011 00:00:00 IST
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