The hearing of the Supreme Court in connection to the plea filed by more than 300 Indian Army personnel challenging registration of FIRs against them in areas covered under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act has been postponed.
The plea will be now heard on the 4th of September. The plea was filed by army men posted in states of Manipur and Jammu and Kashmir, where the act is in force.
According to the plea, submitted by lawyer Aishwarya Bhati, the Army personnel are being ‘persecuted’ and proceeded against for performing duties in ‘disturbed areas’.
Apex court bench comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justice AM Khanwilkar considered the plea and directed that the hearing be held on August 20.
Indian Army personnel, ranging from the position of Section Commanders to Commanding Officers of the Section, Platoon, Company and Battalion, filed the petition in the top court.
In their petition, the petitioners have claimed that the registration of cases against those serving in highly disturbed and insurgency-hit areas and the subsequent probe by the civil police or the CBI is a big setback for them and a major detriment for the armed forces.
The filing of the plea by serving Army officers assumed significance as a special investigation team of the Central Bureau of Investigation recently filed chargesheets in two separate encounter cases in Manipur against armed forces. Army men have been charged with murder in the cases.
The SIT was constituted by the apex court while hearing a matter related to alleged fake encounters by the Army, Assam Rifles and the state police in Manipur.
During the previous hearing in the case, the bench had asked Verma to explain the progress made by the agency against those accused of involvement in alleged fake encounters in Manipur.