Centre to challenge HC order on enforcing Afspa in Meghalaya | india | Hindustan Times
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Centre to challenge HC order on enforcing Afspa in Meghalaya

The Centre will soon file a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court, challenging a Meghalaya high court order directing it to enforce Afspa in Garo hills.

india Updated: Nov 10, 2015 21:44 IST
Minister of state for home affairs, Kiren Rijiju, at an event in New Delhi.
Minister of state for home affairs, Kiren Rijiju, at an event in New Delhi. (Sonu Mehta/HT File Photo)

The Centre will soon file a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court, challenging a Meghalaya high court order directing it to enforce Afspa in Garo hills.

“We will file an SLP to challenge the Meghalaya high court order,” minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju told reporters in New Delhi.

He said the central government in principle believes that Afspa will not solve the problem in insurgency-hit Garo hills, rather it considers it as a temporary measure to maintain law and order there.

The Meghalaya high court last month had asked the Centre to consider enforcing Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (Afspa) in Garo hills region to help the administration restore the rule of law.

A full bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice Uma Nath Singh, Justice TNK Singh and Justice SR Sen issued the order following a hearing related to the pending case of militants calling bandhs in the state.

“The central government can enforce Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 for the purpose of deployment of armed forces in the aid of civil administration in order to restore public order and maintain the law and order,” the bench said in its order.

“Such deployment of armed forces of the Union would be only for the purpose of enabling the civil authorities in the state to deal with the situation effectively so that there is a regime of rule of law,” it said.

Taking into consideration, the situation in the region where militant groups have abducted 87 people for ransom -- including 27 businessmen, 25 civilians, as many employees of private firms, five government employees and as many teachers -- the bench said police and civil authorities, despite their best efforts, are not able to control the situation.

It also took into consideration the kidnapping of a Block Development officer in South Garo Hills last month and the killing of an IB officer in October.