‘Since Killer is Army Officer, He Can’t Be Punished’ Senior Lawyer Zafar Shah Contradicts Delhi’s Claim

Srinagar, April 30(Kashmir Voice): In occupied Kashmir, the Indian government in its application to Supreme Court defended the killer Indian army Major Aditya Kumar stating that Kashmir police did not get sanction from Delhi before registering an FIR against him for killing three civilians in unprovoked firing on protesters in Shopian on January 27.
According to media sources, police had named Major Aditya Kumar of Indian army’s 10 Garhwal Regiment in the case registered against his unit for firing on protesting youth in Ganovpora village of Shopian on January 27 in which three civilians were killed. The investigation was stalled after the Supreme Court restrained police from taking any steps against the Major till the case was pending with the court. The court had issued the direction after Major Adtiya’s father filed a petition seeking quashing of FIR against his son. The Indian government has backed the petition saying the FIR holds no worth and could not have been registered without prior permission. “…there is a total bar to the institution of a legal proceeding in the present case, except with the previous sanction of the Indian government,” reads the application filed before Supreme Court by the Indian government, last month. The Indian government invited the attention of top court towards Section 07 of back law Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), 1990 to back its application—seeking impunity to army. However, senior lawyer of Kashmir High Court, Zafar Shah contradicted the Indian government claim saying the registration of FIR doesn’t need any prior sanction. He said any claim made by armed personnel under AFSPA can only be decided by the court. “Whether the action is bona fide or justified can only be decided by the court. The victim or his family members can also show to the court that forces personnel have committed an offence and therefore should be prosecuted. All these issues cannot be decided outside court by one party or the other. The sanction for prosecution is required at the end of the investigation,” Shah said. He said for reporting an offence to the police doesn’t require any prior sanction from any authority. “To my understanding, for lodging an FIR, prior permission is not required,” he added. KASHMIR VOICE
senior lawyer of Kashmir High Court, Zafar Shah 2

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