The Delhi high court has directed the Centre to decide within three months on a petition filed in public interest seeking to curb private sale and manufacture of combat apparel claiming it was a threat to national security.
A bench of chief justice G Rohini and justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal asked the defence ministry (MoD) to treat the petition by an NGO, Fight for Human Rights, as a representation and to take a decision on it.
The NGO had sought steps to curb private sale and manufacture of combat apparel, like uniforms, shoes, badges and other gear used by armed forces which were being made by private industries in Ludhiana and Amritsar in Punjab and sold all over the country.
One place where such articles are sold is at the Railway Market at Pathankot, the NGO had claimed in its plea.
In January this year, the Air Force base in Pathankot was attacked by terrorists wearing Indian Army fatigues, leading to the death of several security personnel.
The NGO has said that as per a January 8 guideline issued by Indian Army, civilians and private shopkeepers have been directed not to wear or sell combat apparel.
It had sought directions to MoD to take “immediate and concrete” steps “to prevent private enterprises, shops, individuals etc. from unauthorisedly manufacturing, stocking and selling of combat uniforms, backpacks, sleeping bags, badges, shoes, etc used by armed forces in India”.