Friday, August 19, 2022

SC stays criminal proceedings against 30 Armymen in Nagaland civilian killings

The bench notes that previous sanction as required under Section 6 of the Armed Forces (Special 4 Powers) Act, 1958, has not been obtained

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has stayed criminal proceedings against 30 members of the 21 Para Special Force, including a Major, in connection with the alleged botched Army operation in Oting-Tiru area of Nagaland’s Mon district in 2021 that claimed the lives of 13 civilians, a report in The Tribune, Chandigarh, says.

A bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and V Ramasubramanian noted that previous sanction as required under Section 6 of the Armed Forces (Special 4 Powers) Act, 1958, had not been obtained.

The top court also issued notices to the Centre, Nagaland government and others on two pleas filed by the wives of the Army officers named in the case.

The petitions sought quashing of the FIR lodged by Nagaland Police and the findings of an SIT set up by the state government.

Nagaland Police had charge-sheeted at least 30 members of the 21 Para Special Force in the case.

The chargesheet has slapped charges of murder and culpable homicide not amounting to murder on the team of soldiers.

The case was re-registered by the State Crime Police Station on December 5 against unidentified persons of the Indian Army under various sections of the IPC and investigation handed over to a Special Investigation Team (SIT).

A case under various sections of the IPC had been made out against 30 members of the operations team of 21 Para Special Force, including two subedars, eight havildars, four naiks, six lance naiks and nine paratroopers, he said.

The state DGP had said that the CID report seeking sanction for prosecution was forwarded to the Department of Military Affairs in the first week of April this year and a reminder sent in May.

The sanction for prosecution is still awaited, he had said.

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