The Jammu and Kashmir high court has reserved its order on an Army petition seeking option of trying in general court martial the nine Army personnel, including a Colonel and two Majors, accused in the Macchil fake encounter killing of three youths in 2010.
Justice Hasnain Masoodi on Tuesday reserved the petition for orders after hearing the Army counsel and state government counsel for and against a court martial of the accused respectively.
Three youth hailing from Nadihal village in Baramulla district– Reyaz Ahmad, Mohammad Shafi and Shahzad Ahmad-- were allegedly shot dead in a fake encounter and later branded as infiltrators from Pakistan occupied Kashmir.
The slain youth were allegedly lured by a former SPO Bashir Ahmad Lone and his accomplices to Macchil on the pretext of providing them high-paying jobs and handed over to the Army for Rs 50,000 each.
Three officers, including a Colonel and two Majors, were among 11 people charge sheeted by the state police in connection with this encounter.
The charge sheet has named Col DK Pathania, Major Maurya, Major Upinder, Subedar Satbir, Hawaldar Bir Singh, Sepoys Chandra Bhan, Nagendra Singh and Narendra Singh and Abbas Hussain Shah of the Territorial Army (TA) besides two civilians Basharat Lone and Abdul Hamid Bhat as the accused.
They have been charged under sections 302 (murder), 364 (abduction), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intent) of the Ranbir Penal Code (RPC).
Col Pathania was removed from the command of his unit while Major Upendra, who was the second officer, was suspended after the Army ordered an internal inquiry into the incident.
Army had filed a petition before the High Court challenging the jurisdiction of the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Sopore for passing the order in July 2010 in which he rejected the plea for trying the accused in court martial.