- February 6, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
TOPIC: Security Issues
Context- The Manipur Congress has promised to repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act of 1958 if voted back to power in the State.
About AFSPA: Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958:
- A British-era legislation that was enacted to quell the protests during the Quit India movement, the AFSPA was issued by way of four ordinances in 1947.
- The ordinances were replaced by an Act in 1948 and the present law effective in the Northeast was introduced in Parliament in 1958 by the then Home Minister, G.B. Pant.
- It was known initially as the Armed Forces (Assam and Manipur) Special Powers Act, 1958.
- After the States of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland came into being, the Act was adapted to apply to these States as well.
- The ASFPA gives unfettered powers to the armed forces and the Central armed police forces deployed in “disturbed areas” to kill anyone acting in contravention of law and arrest and search any premises without a warrant and with protection from prosecution and legal suits.
- Disturbed Areas: The Act was amended in 1972 and the powers to declare an area as “disturbed” were conferred concurrently upon the Central government along with the States.
Recommendations of Jeevan Reddy Committee 2004:
- AFSPA should be repealed and appropriate provisions should be inserted in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967
- The Unlawful Activities Act should be modified to clearly specify the powers of the armed forces and paramilitary forces and Grievance cells should be set up in each district where the armed forces are deployed.
Second ARC Recommendation:
- The 5th report of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) on public order has also recommended the repeal of the AFSPA. However, these recommendations have not been implemented.
Supreme Court Views on the Act:
- The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of AFSPA in a 1998 judgment (Naga People’s Movement of Human Rights v. Union of India).