JK To ‘scrutinize’ Army Order, Explore ‘legal Options’

JK To ‘scrutinize’ Army Order, Explore ‘legal Options’

24 January 2014
Greater Kashmir
Umer Maqbool

Srinagar: A day after Army gave a clean chit to its officers in the Pathribal fake encounter case and declared it as closed, the J&K Government has decided to scrutinize the Army order. Informed sources disclosed to Greater Kashmir that following the directions from the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, the State Law department Friday wrote to the Home department asking them to obtain the Army order. “We have initiated the process of ascertaining the facts of the case,” a senior official, privy to the move, said, adding the government will thoroughly examine the order to explore the legal options available for further action. Advocate General MI Qadri said they will seek records from the concerned agencies including the Central Bureau of Investigation and Army to know why the case was closed. “Before formulating any opinion on the legal options available to us, we will see whether there was defective evidence, contradictory evidence or something else behind the closure of the case,” he said. Qadri said the records will be “thoroughly examined before shaping up the opinion on the options available to us.” He said the CBI can also challenge the Army’s verdict if they want. Meanwhile, the investigating agency Friday said it will go by the Supreme Court directions on the issue. “We will act in line with the court directions,” CBI spokesperson, Kanchan Prasad, said. Pertinently, the case was referred to the CBI in 2003 by the State government vide Cabinet decision No. 173-12 dated 2-9-2003 and Cabinet Decision No. 749-9 dated 23-7-2003. In 2006, the CBI said that Brig Ajay Saxena, Lt Col Brahendra Pratap Singh, Major Saurabh Sharma, Major Amit Saxena and Subedar Idrees Khan killed five civilians “just to show better results.” The 18-page CBI charge-sheet said after the Chittisinghpora killings, the Army unit based in the area was under “tremendous psychological pressure to show results.”