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The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Monday accused, in the Supreme Court, army personnel of killing five “innocent” people in cold blood in the wake of the 2000 killing of 36 Sikhs in Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

Appearing for the CBI, counsel Ashok Bhan made the charge before a bench of Justice B.S. Chauhan and Justice Swatanter Kumar which is hearing a plea that proceedings against any army personnel could not be carried out in the absence of prior sanction by the government.

The CBI, which investigated the killing of five people in the wake of the March 20, 2000 massacre in a gurudwara in Chittishingpura village in Anantnag, said that these army personnel could not be given the umbrella of duty to frustrate any criminal proceedings against them.

“No sanction is required for launching prosecution proceedings against them after the case has been filed before the magistrate’s court in Srinagar,” Bhan told the bench. “It is a case where neither sanction was required nor it has been applied for.”

When Bhan contended that everyone has a protection to life and liberty under the Article 21 of the constitution, the court said that Article 21 will apply to both. Bhan, however, said that Article 21 would weigh more in the favour of the victim.

He told the court that army never co-operated with the CBI in investigating the case. “Any action done by the delinquent officer can’t be given umbrella of official duty,” Bhan told the court.

In the beginning of the hearing when the court inquired what was the outcome of its direction that secretaries of the defence and home ministries and the CBI director should sit together to find some way out, the court was told that the government was filing an affidavit.



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