TODAY -

SC fixes Jan 4 for thorough hearing on AFSPA case
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal/Delhi, December 06 2012: An interesting stage has reached in the hearing of the removal of Armed Forces Special Power Act from Manipur at the Supreme Court.

After several rounds of hearings of the W.P.(C) no.445/2012 filed by Dr.Th.Suresh, ex-Director of Health Services, Manipur on 19/9/2012 last, the Supreme Court has finally fixed January 4, 2013 for a thorough hearing of the petition.

The first hearing of the petition was held on 19th Oct., the second hearing on 5th Nov and the third hearing on 23rd Nov.

this year.

The specific prayer in the W.P included removal of AFSPA from Manipur and squashing of the latest Govt.of Manipur order dt.

30th Nov, 2011 declaring the whole state of Manipur (except Imphal Municipality Area) as Disturbed Area as conferred under section 3 of AFSPA,1958 .

It is worthwhile to remember that the draconian Act was first introduced in Sept., 1958 for Assam and Manipur specifically to counter the then violent Naga insurgents.

The Act was later amended in 1972 to cover the entire 7 N-E states of India.

In Dec.

1979, the Act was re- introduced in Manipurin some parts of the present Imphal Municipality Area and latter on extended to all parts of the state ; i.e.this Act is continuing uninterrupted for 33yrs.in Manipur (except Imphal Municipality Area).

The Act was however withdrawn from Imphal Municipality Area consisting of 7 assembly segments in August, 2004 in the wake of violent demonstrations throughout the state following the brutal torture and rape Th Manorama Devi by 17 Assam Rifles personnel, then posted inside Kangla Fort.

The case is heard by a double bench consisting of Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai.

The petitioner is represented by Sr.

Advocate Jaideep Gupta and Advocates S.Biswajit and Ashok Km.

Singh.

In the 2ndst hearing, notices were issued to both the Central and State Govts.

Interestingly, both failed to file counter affidavits up to the 3rd hearing by requesting for more time.

The case is tagged with W.P.(Crl) no.129/2012 in respect of Extra Judl.

Execution in Manipur under AFSPA.

The Apex Court appointed Advocate Menaka Guruswamy as Amicus Curiae to assist the Apex Court.

In the 2nd hearing, National Human Rights commission was also directed to file its response by 21st Nov.2012 .

In the 4th hearing today, Sr.

Counsel Jaideep Gupta was told by the Apex Court that AFSPA case is an important one and will be heard thoroughly.

Accordingly, next hearing has been fixed on 4/1/2013 .

It may be noted here that in the hearing of the petition yesterday, the Centre maintained that it would not be prudent to repeal AFSPA or withdraw it from Northeastern State, even though the Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee had recommended its repeal and amending Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) to achieve the purpose of AFSPA.

Nonetheless, the Centre informed the Supreme Court that it was considering amendments to the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, which provides sweeping powers to security forces in areas declared disturbed due to militancy.


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