Only 1 army man prosecuted in 22 yrs in JK
In what can be seen as the fallout of controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), only one army man has been prosecuted in Jammu and Kashmir during past 22 years by Ministry of Defence (MoD), which received 44 cases for sanction for prosecution from 1990 to 2011.
The MoD, however, has not disclosed the identity of the trooper. It even claimed that J&K government has been intimated about the proceedings.
In response to RTI query filed by Coalition of Civil Society, MoD said it has initiated inquiries and court martial and a trooper has been held responsible for the offence, which was not detailed out.
“Army has convicted the trooper and awarded punishment. He has been dismissed from services and given 10 years rigorous imprisonment in civil jail,” reads the MoD reply.
It, however, said details of the case cannot be provided as the case file has already been returned to J&K government.
MoD reply did not mention about the offence committed by the army man nor did it say where he was posted and when the incident took place.
The MoD further said that it received 44 cases for sanction for prosecution under AFSPA since 1990 to 2011.
“The details of armed forces personnel and unit cannot be given under RTI Act Para 8 (1) (J) and 8 (1) (a),” it said.
“35 cases were denied prosecutions while 9 were under considerations,” MoD reply further reads.
Government of India’s sanction is mandatory for prosecution of members of armed forces posted in Jammu and Kashmir under Section 7 of the AFSPA, which was promulgated in 1991 at the time of eruption of militancy.
Earlier, J&K government had stated it had sought sanction for prosecution of troopers under AFSPA in 50 cases. The government had applied for prosecution for sanction under AFSPA for 31 cases from ministry of defense and 19 cases from ministry of home affairs.
However, it had not disclosed in how many cases the prosecution was sanctioned.
Referring to the prosecution of a lone army man, Khurram Parvez of said on one hand MoD has denied sanction in all the prosecution cases and on other side, there is absolute lack of transparency in the court martial cases conducted by army under AFSPA.
“In such cases, the troopers always get impunity and are reinstated back into their services”.
Citing the 2001 case, Parvez said, “In 2001, Captain Tewatiya was held guilty by army court for committing rape of mother-daughter duo in Banihal. He was sentenced to seven years prison and was terminated from the services”.
He said the accused Captain approached the civil court, which turned down the verdict of army court and ordered his reinstatement.
“Army never opposed the verdict and did not approach the higher court,” Parvez said.