Pathribal: Now, army objects to providing verdict copy to IGP

Srinagar: Indian army has objected to an application filed by the Inspector General of Police (Kashmir), seeking various documents regarding closure of the infamous Pathribal fake encounter case.
In its objection to the application filed before Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar, army through Brigadier Adjutant 16 Corps C/O 56 APO said that IGP “has no locus standi” to seek copies of the court martial judgment and other relevant documents as he “is not a party to proceedings.”
“It is most humbly submitted that in accordance with the law, particularly Rule 7 ibid, the Magistrate may not call for documents from the competent military authority,” the army said and prayed for dismissal of the application by IGP “being without jurisdiction.”
While taking the army’s objections on record, the CJM Virender Singh Bahu directed the CPO and Senior PO, representing the police, to furnish any authority from government that authorizes the IGP to procure copies of orders and documents pertaining to the court martial proceedings.
“Case shall come up for arguments and also for furnishing authority by IGP Kashmir on May 5,” the court said.
Besides order copy of Commanding Officer closing the case, the IGP had sought record of evidence on the basis of which decision was passed.
The IGP had 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 the 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 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.