New Delhi: A group of 350 senior Army officers have moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to lay down guidelines to protect the bonafide action of soldiers under Armed Forces Special powers Act (Afspa), so that no soldier is harassed by initiation of criminal proceedings or arrest for actions done in good faith in exercise of their duties. A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar agreed to list the matter for hearing on August 20 on a mention made by counsel Aishwarya Bhati seeking urgent hearing.
The petitioners Col. Amit Kumar and 350 others in their petition said such guidelines are necessary for protection of sovereignty, integrity and dignity of the country. It said protection of soldiers engaged with direct proxy enemy and insurgency operations and acting in good faith under Afspa is imperative. Expressing serious concern over registration of FIRs against Army personnel for their acts done in good faith during the course of their duties.
It said soldiers are facing insurmountable difficulties and odds in performance of their bonafide and they never hesitate to lay down their lives in the line of duty in order to uphold the dignity of the Indian Flag. It was pointed out that their colleagues are being persecuted and prosecuted for carrying out there bonafide duties, without making any distinction or determination with regard to act having been done in good faith, without any criminal intent. It is submitted that the instant petition, inter-alia, raises extremely grave question of law of public importance and court’s intervention is necessary.