New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday expressed its displeasure over delaying the trials for ten years against the Army officers accused in the Pathribal fake encounter in Jammu & Kashmir. The Supreme Court has issued notices to the government seeking reply in the context of sanctioning the court martial proceedings of the Army officers.

Seven persons were killed by Army personnel in an encounter on March 25, 2000 in the Pathribal area. They were branded as militants belonging to Lashker-e-Taiba responsible for the gunning down of 36 Sikhs at Chattisinghpora in the same district on the intervening night of March 19-20, 2000.

The CBI had termed the encounter as fake and filed a chargesheet against five Army officers but the court could not take cognizance owing to lack of government’s nod in this regard. The Army vehemently denied the encounter as fake.

A bench comprising Justices BS Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar on Monday has issued notices to the Home and Defence Secretaries, asking if the government’s nod is required for initiating court martial proceedings against the accused Army officers.

The Court has issued the notice to the government only after the plea was presented by Additional Solicitor General P P Malhotra. Malhotra had stated earlier that without a sanction of the government the Army officers could not be tried. However, Additional Solicitor General H P Raval, representing the CBI said that Army is trying to save their officers and bury the case.

JPN/Bureau