New Delhi, (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear the plea filed by the father of Major Aditya Kumar, named in an FIR by Jammu and Kashmir Police in civilian killings during a firing incident, for quashing the case because it will hurt the Army’s morale in fighting terrorism in the state.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra posted the matter for hearing on February 12, after petitioner’s advocate Aishwarya Bhati sought urgent hearing of the case.
Major Kumar and other soldiers of 10 Garhwal Rifles have been accused of opening fire and fatally injuring three civilians when a stone-pelting mob attacked an army convoy near Ganowpora village in Shopian district on January 27.
The FIR would hurt the morale of Army personnel in discharging duty, Lt Col Karamveer Singh said in his plea filed on Thursday through advocate Aishwarya Bhati.
“The manner in which the lodging of the FIR has been portrayed and projected by the political leadership and administrative higher-ups of the state, reflects the extremely hostile atmosphere in the state.
“In these circumstances, the petitioner is left with no other viable option but to approach this Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India for protection of valuable Fundamental Rights of his son and himself, enshrined under Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India,” the plea said.
It said that Major Kumar was wrongly and arbitrarily named as the incident relates to an Army convoy on bonafide military duty in an area under the AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Acts), which was isolated by an “unruly and deranged” stone-pelting mob.
The intention of the Major was to save Army personnel and property, and the fire was inflicted only to impair and provide a safe escape.
“The unruly mob was requested to disperse and not to obstruct military persons in the performance of their duties and not to damage government property…
“The unruly behaviour of the unlawful assembly reached its peak when they got hold of a Junior Commissioned Officer and was in the process of lynching him to death.
It was at this moment that warning shots were fired… which as per the said terms of engagement is the last resort to be taken…,” the plea said.
It also sought directions to issue guidelines to protect rights of soldiers and adequate compensation.