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JUDICIARY WATCH

1991 Kunan Poshpora mass rape incident: SC admits J&K's plea

Agency, PTI, New Delhi
05/12/2017   0 Comments

The Supreme Court today admitted for hearing an appeal by Jammu and Kashmir government against a high court order for payment of compensation to the victims of 1991 Kunan-Poshpora mass rape incident allegedly by army personnel.

The top court directed expeditious hearing of the appeals filed by the state gvernment against various orders of the high court.

A bench of Justices J Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul granted leave on the appeal of state government and said all the interim orders will continue.

In 2013, a writ petition was filed in Jammu and Kashmir high court alleging that army personnel belonging to the Rajputana Rifles and 68 Mountain Brigade had raided the remote villages of Kunan and Poshpora in Kupwara district and had committed mass-scale rapes and torture of villagers.

The charges have not been proved so far as there has been no progress in trial.

It was alleged that on the intervening night of February 23 and 24, 1991, separate teams of armymen had entered several houses in the villages, removed men of all ages into makeshift interrogation centers and tortured them. The plea alleged that over 30 women of the villages were raped by these personnel.

A SIT probe was sought in the plea for carrying out comprehensive investigation, besides seeking compensation and relief for the victims.

Standing counsel Shoeb Alam, appearing for the state government, said the compensation cannot be given as directed by the high court under provisions of Sections 545 (a)CrPC, which was introduced on April 24, 2012 and notified on April 23, 2013.

He said such a direction to pay compensation under a provision which did not exist at the time of the incident was contrary to law.

The state government also claimed that since the allegation was against army personnel, a direction to the state government for payment of compensation to the victims was without any legal backing.

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