NHRC not competent to call AFSPA unlawful: Justice MM Kumar

The NHRC may not be able to tell the legislature to repeal this act. A legislature has its own privileges, Kumar said, while chairing an “Open Hearing and Camp Sitting” session, in Shillong on December 15.



The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has said that it will not be able to recommend the repealing of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).

Member of the NHRC, Justice M. M. Kumar, who is on a two-day visit to Shillong for an “Open Hearing and Camp Sitting”, said that legally and constitutionally, an act can be challenged before the court of law only on two counts – if it violates basic structure of the constitution, or the legislature was not competent to frame a law.

“The NHRC may not be able to tell the legislature to repeal this act. A legislature has its own privileges,” Kumar said, while addressing the press here on December 15.

The NHRC members added that the Commission, in such a situation, would not be competent to say that this law is unlawful.

“Yes, if there are excesses committed while implementing this law, certainly we are competent. Kindly bring the complains before us that AFSPA has been misused... something has been done under AFSPA, which has been absolutely unwarranted, and we will interfere,” he added.

Referring to the recent killing of 14 innocent civilians by the security forces in Nagaland’s Mon district, Kumar said that in such cases, the NHRC can and has taken suo motu cognizance.

“We take notice. It is not that we turn a blind eye to the glaring cases where excesses are committed. Whenever cases of this nature come before the commission the NHRC, we come heavily on the authorities. We do not spare them,” the NHRC member said.

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