Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Pathribal case

Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister
Omar Abdullah (l) and Indian
P.M. Manmohan Singh (r)
The January 25, 2014 New York Times carried an article about the dismissal of charges against five soldiers accused of killing five Kashmiri men in the village of Pathribal in 2000. We'll have a longer post on this, but pending that, readers may want to start by having a look at the Supreme Court of India's May 1, 2012 judgment in General Officer Commanding v. CBI, [2012] 5 S.C.R. 661. The controversial incident continues to roil India.

Who should decide whether offenses by military personnel should be tried in civilian court or by court-martial? What should be the standard for deciding whether acts of military personnel were committed in the line of duty and therefore not subject to prosecution?

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