Pathribal Fake Encounter: SC suggests case be tried by Army

New Delhi: In a move that is likely to have far reaching consequences, the Supreme Court has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Centre whether they are willing to hand-over the Pathribal fake encounter case in Jammu and Kashmir to the Army so that Defense Court can try the Army personnel involved.
The court has asked both Centre and CBI to reply to it by Monday.
Five people were killed in joint operation by the Army and the Jammu and Kashmir Police following the massacre of 35 Sikhs at Chattisinghpora in 2000.
The Supreme Court said this after CBI counsel Ashok Bhan presented a confidential file to the judges and told the court that the issue is very sensitive in the Valley.
A tussle has been going on between the Army and the CBI over the issue; the Army says their eight men cannot be tried by CBI as they have immunity under Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
The proceedings in trial court in Jammu and Kashmir had been stayed by the Supreme Court in 2007 on a plea by the Army that its personnel can’t be prosecuted without permission from the Centre.
The CBI, which probed the encounter and filed a chargesheet against eight Army officials including a Brigadier, wants the stay vacated so that trial continues.


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