May 2, 2012
International human rights watchdog Amnesty International Termed Supreme Court verdict on Pathribal fake encounter killings as major setback to justice in Kashmir.
In the Pathribal encounter killing, five innocent civilians were picked up and killed in a staged encounter by the 7th Rashtriya Rifle of the army. At the time, the then Union Home Minister L.K. Advani had gone on record to say that five Lashkar militants who were responsible for the Chittisinghpora massacre of the Sikhs in the Kashmir Valley had been killed in an encounter. After investigation by the CBI, a chargesheet was filed before the Chief judicial Magistrate, Srinagar, implicating army personnel of the 7th Rashtriya Rifle. In 2006, the army was given the option by the CJM to choose the forum of trial, and to either face court martial or be tried by a regular criminal court. Showing contempt for the CJM, the army personnel refused to face any trial, and asked the CJM to return the chargesheet back to the CBI.
The court while giving eight weeks time to army to decide whether the personnel involved in the fake encounter are to be tried in a court martial or a civil court. It also held that incase the accused are to be tried in a civil court then the sanction of the government of India is needed.