New Delhi, Aug 14: As many as 300 armed forces personnel on Tuesday approached the Supreme Court with a plea challenging the FIRs registered against them in connection with military operations in the areas where the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is in force. The AFSPA is in force in parts of N-E and Kashmir. The apex court has agreed to hear the plea on August 20. Also Read - India Has Lowest COVID-19 Cases, Deaths Per Million in The World: Report
A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice AM Khanwilkar considered the submissions of lawyer Aishwarya Bhati that Army personnel are being prosecuted for performing duties in disturbed areas. The plea said that such prosecutions lower the morale of the military and para-military forces. It must be noted that armed forces personnel are facing prosecution for alleged excesses and fake encounters in states like Manipur where AFSPA is in force. Prosecutions in some of those cases have been initiated following a direction from the apex court, especially in Manipur. Also Read - Flipkart Big Diwali Sale 2020: Smartphones, Laptops, Electronics Available on Big Discount Offers- Check Prices
Earlier, an apex court bench of Justice Madan B Lokur had summoned CBI director Alok Verma regarding the progress made by the agency against those accused of involvement in alleged fake encounters in Manipur. During the hearing, the CBI chief had submitted that the agency was collecting evidence against those accused of involvement in fake encounters in Manipur. The bench had pulled up the agency for going slow and referred to the accused as ‘murderers’ who were roaming free on the streets of Imphal. Also Read - Marlon Samuels Launches Expletive Laden Instagram Tirade After Ben Stokes Comment
Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju had assured that the AFSPA may be withdrawn from areas where security situation improves. “Since the security scenario in the Northeast has improved in the last four years, AFSPA has been removed from many areas. We are hopeful that with further improvement, it may be lifted from the remaining few areas in the near future,” he told PTI.