UN criticises Indian Army for dodging RTI about Macchil fake encounter

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Srinagar, July 12: The UN Nations has criticised Indian Army’s efforts to prevent the release of documents relating to a trial that found six army men guilty of an extra-judicial killing of three civilians in Machhil sector.

The second report by the rights body on Kashmir, mentions the Army’s attempts to block an RTI request on information about the fake encounter trial in a list of incidents of “impunity for human rights violations” by the government  forces.

It notes that the Army has been “resisting efforts to release details of trials conducted by military courts” in cases like Macchil, where soldiers were initially found guilty and given life sentences for their crimes but later released by a higher military tribunal.

According to a report by Huffpost India, in August last year the Army had filed a petition in the Delhi high court to set aside an order passed by the Central Information Commission (CIC) in November 2016 ordering it to disclose information about the trial.

In the petition, the Army had argued that releasing the details served no public interest, was an “unwarranted invasion of the privacy” of the accused, and would result in public outrage that would “affect the security, sovereignty and integrity of India”, and hamper military operations in the state.

In an interim order, the Delhi high court stayed the CIC order but is yet to give a final decision on the Army’s plea.

The case has since been adjourned several times and is expected to come up for consideration next month.

Agencies

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