Pathribal: Courts allows Army to file objections to IGP’s plea

Srinagar: A court here has allowed a plea by the Army for filing objections to an application filed by Inspector General of Police seeking various documents regarding closure of the infamous Pathribal fake encounter case.
Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar, Virender Singh Bahu, while allowing the plea by Army’s standing counsel put the case for further consideration on April 16.
Besides order copy of Commanding Officer closing the case, the IGP has sought record of evidence on the basis of which decision was passed.
The IGP has also sought documents about proceedings as well as other relevant records and material produced before the court martial in the case.
Five civilians were killed in a fake encounter on March 25, 2000 at Pathribal in South Kashmir Anantnag district and were branded by Army as foreign militants.
In 2006, India’s premier investigation agency, the CBI, indicted Army’s Brig Ajay Saxena, Lt. Col. Brajendra Pratap Singh, Maj. Sourabh Sharma, Maj. Amit Saxena and Subedar Idrees Khan for the cold-blood murder of the five civilians.
Subsequently, the chargesheet was handed over to Army for court marital in consonance with the orders by Supreme Court.
However, on January 20 this year, the Army informed the CJM through a communication that no prima facie case was made against its accused men following the court martial by it.
Previously, the Army refused to furnish certified copies of the court martial judgment to the family of one of the victim’s of the Pathribal fake encounter case.
Pending adjudication by the CJM, the Army has already prayed for rejection of a petition filed by Nazir Ahmad Dalal, maternal uncle of Zahoor Ahmad Dalal, who was one of the victims of the fake encounter.
Finding the contentions raised in the petition as “genuine and well-founded” the CJM had directed Brigadier Adjutant to reply to the petition or furnish copies of the judgment alongwith copies of chargesheet and related documents.
However, Army has filed objection to it, claiming that Dalal’s family have no “locus standi” for demanding the certified copies of the court martial judgment.
The Army’s objection is based on the contention that Nazir Ahmad Dalal was not a party to the proceedings conducted by the Commanding Officer regarding the accused soldiers.
In his petition, Nazir has said that the victims’ kin were interested to agitate the matter before the J&K High Court.
Therefore, he had said, all records pertaining to the case are to be furnished to him for seeking the appropriate remedy.