Supreme Court: Army Cannot Use Excessive Force in AFSPA Areas


During counter-insurgency operations in disturbed areas declared disturbed under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), 1958. The Supreme Court of India has ruled that army and paramilitary forces cannot use excessive and retaliatory force.

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  • The decision was given by SC bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit on the plea filed by the Extra Judicial Execution Victim Families Association (EEVFAM).
  • In the plea EEVFAM had required a SIT probe into the killing of 1, 528 persons by the Manipur Police and security forces since 1978.
  • No one can act with impunity, particularly when there is a loss of an innocent life.

Supreme Court Ruling

  • The armed forces of the Union or Manipur Police is not permissible for The use of excessive force or retaliatory force.
  • Criminal courts have the jurisdiction over cases of alleged excesses by security forces.
  • It were included under blanket of immunity provided by AFSPA.
  • In counter-insurgency operations armed forces should refrain from resorting to excessive fire power.
  • When state uses such retaliatory force leading to death of people, it is referred to as an extra-judicial execution or extra-judicial killing.
  • It is called administrative liquidation.

About AFSPA:

  • Armed Forces (Special Powers) Acts is collective name of several acts passed by Indian parliament:
  • For providing special powers to the Indian Armed Forces.
  • To provide army officers and jawans legal immunity for their actions in disturbed areas.

- Published/Last Modified on: July 11, 2016