The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to examine a plea for formulating a policy to safeguard the rights of Armed Forces personnel against human right violations by unruly mob and stone pelters obstructing and attacking them during the discharge of their duties.
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna issued notice to the Centre, Jammu and Kashmir government and the National Human Rights Commission on a petition filed Army officers' daughters Kajal Mishra and Preeti Kedar Gokhale.
The petitioners represented by senior advocate Meenakshi Arora and advocate Neela Gokhale contended it was the duty of the state to safeguard and protect the inalienable rights of every citizen of the country including the Armed Forces personnel.
They cited media reports clearly indicating that as many as 9703 FIRs filed against the perpetrators of the stone pelting incidents were directed to be withdrawn as a policy, with a stated aim to bring the youth of the state in the mainstream.
"However, criminal jurisdiction mandates that once an FIR is registered against any person, the same cannot be taken back, without following the due process of law, especially in pursuance of a policy of the government no such FIR can be directed to be withdrawn," their petition contended.
The armed personnel, despite being armed with necessary arms, are often left in abstruse to suffer at the hands of the anti-social elements due to the ambiguity in the approach of the government in dealing with them including the stone pelters etc, it added.
"Troops suffer the indignity of being stoned by mobs and compelled to restrain themselves from effectively defending themselves and the government property to be in consonance with executive directives. There cannot be a day when troops wait for written orders to fire at a terrorist lest he be found to be a local youth with a stone in one hand and a petrol bomb in the other," they said.
The petitioner approached the NHRC with their grievances but they were directed to go before the state human rights panel.