The Jammu and Kashmir Police in an affidavit to the Supreme Court said that there is no need for government sanction to file a case against an Army personnel. In response to a petition by Lt Colonel Karamveer Singh, the Jammu and Kashmir Police in its affidavit said, “Even under the AFSPA, the Army Act or under any other law in force, there is no prohibition of registration of FIR against an army personnel”.
The Lt.Colonel is the father of Major Aditya Kumar of 10 Garhwal Rifles, against whom an FIR had been registered in connection with the death of three civilians in alleged army firing in Shopian on January 27.
The affidavit further said that sanction would be required only at the stage of taking cognizance by a court.
The affidavit by Anuj Gupta, Senior Prosecuting Officer, Police Headquarters (Srinagar) said that the FIR does not name Major Aditya as an accused, nor is his name mentioned in the column of accused persons.
The Supreme Court had earlier stayed all proceedings against Major Aditya and said, “He is an army officer and not an ordinary criminal.” The affidavit of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, however, contradicts with the stand of GoI, as Attorney General KK Venugopal had in March supported the petitioner and criticised the state of Jammu and Kashmir for registering a criminal case against a serving Army officer without sanction from the Central government. Venugopal had quoted Section 7 of Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1990, according to which no prosecution can be launched against a serving army officer without prior sanction from the Central government. Besides quashing of the FIR, petitioner Lt Colonel Karamveer Singh has sought guidelines to protect soldiers’ rights and adequate compensation for them.
The case revolves around the January 27 incident when Army personnel fired at a stone-pelting mob in Ganovpora village in Sophian. The FIR was registered against the personnel of 10 Garhwal unit of the Army, including Major Kumar, under Sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of the Ranbir Penal Code.