New Delhi, The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday told the Supreme Court that investigation in the Shopian case involving Major Aditya Kumar was justified and his father can’t filed plea against the FIR.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said it would hear, on July 30, the final arguments in the case.
Lt Col Karamveer Singh — a serving officer and father of Major Aditya Kumar — has approached the court seeking the quashing of the FIR. A PIL was also filed on the same issue.
Counsel appearing for Jammu and Kashmir opposed the pleas saying father can’t file the plea in this regard and PILs can’t be filed in criminal matters.
He said that the major’s father had no locus to file plea in the court, adding: “Let us argue the matter. I am ready to argue on the point of law as to whether there is an absolute immunity to armed forces.”
“State has power to investigate (the case against Major Aditya)… Once the FIR is registered how can the police be stopped from investigation,” said counsel, while adding that there cannot be an “indefinite” stay on the probe.
On March 5, the apex court had restrained police from carrying out any investigation in pursuance to the FIR following the death of three civilians as the Army dispersed a stone-pelting mob in Shopian district.
During the hearing, the Jammu and Kashmir government wanted that all the states in which states AFSPA is active, i.e. Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya, be made a party in the case, which the bench denied.
The Central government had earlier contended that mere filing of the complaint against an Army personnel serving in the disturbed area without its prior sanction was barred under Section 7 of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
In its affidavit, the Jammu and Kashmir government had countered the decision to stall the probe and said that it will be a serious breach of statutory provisions, besides possible violation of the rights of the victims, if the investigation was not carried out into cognisable offences.