This Article is written by Bhanu Pratap Parashar ( pursuing my BALLB degree from National Law University and judicial academy Assam)
AFSPA has always been a big issue for Human Right activist. They claimed that it violates the human right and fundamental right of individual and Recently killings in Nagaland has brought again this problem in news. In this article, we will check the validity of AFSPA and its misuse.
AFSPA stands for the Armed Forces special power Act. It is implemented by the Congress government through the Armed Forces special power Act 1958. For the first time, It was implemented in the seven northeast states like Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Assam etc. In Jammu & Kashmir, It was implemented in 1990. If we explain AFSPA in simple words then AFSPA is such type of ACT that gives judicial immunity to the Armed forces. For example, If any soldier shot an innocent person on the suspicion that he may be a terrorist then the victim’s family can not move Supreme Court and High Court for the protection of the fundamental rights of that person. NO Judicial proceeding can be initiated without the consent of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Now I would likely give some of the reasons why it should be amended.
According to our judicial system, A accused is presumed to be innocent until the allegation is proven but According to section 4 of the Armed forces special Power ACT, Any Armed forces personnel can shoot to kill in case of the commission or suspicion of the commission of offences It is also contrary to the Article 21 which talk about the Right to life and personal liberty.
In simple words, This Act gives absolute power to kill any person.
Several times, these allegation has been alleged by the human right activist that In the name of judicial immunity, soldiers are killing innocent people which can not be tolerated in a democratic country like India. Monorma Devi rape case is the best example of this contest. In that case, Solider of Assam Rifles raped the 28 years Manipuri girls Manorma and In December 2014 a case was filed at Supreme Court the Supreme Court told to the government to pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakhs to Manorma family but the court could not spell any judgement against culprit for awarding punishment. It is very shameful how can we measure the dignity of the women with some lakhs rupees. The right to live with dignity is a fundamental right of every individual.
And In another case, ten civilians were shot by the AssamRifles Solider at the bus stand of Manipur state. Against this Act, Iroma Sharmila has been sitting on a hunger strike till 2016 but She could not win the atrocities of the system. Justice jeevan Reddy’s committee has also recommended the abolishment of this cruel Act.
In the conclusion, I would likely to says that Supreme Court should interfere in this matter because he is a custodian guardian of fundamental Rights and According to the power of judicial review ( Article 13) it has the power to declare any Act as unconstitutional if that Act violates the fundamental right of the individual. It is not only against the fundamental right of the constitution but also is against the universal declaration of Human Rights and our parliament should make changes in this Act because we can not give licences to armed forces for committing rape and murder of innocent people.