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Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act: A tool for Human rights Violation in Northeastern States in India

Author: Ayesha Noor, Student, School of Law, Christ University, Bengaluru, India

Abstract

The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 was enacted to quell the uprising of insurgent forces in the northeastern states of India. However, after six decades of its enactment, the Act has turned into a draconian law meant to oppress civilians rather than to protect them. The history of AFSPA in India resonates with grotesque human rights violations in the states where it has been implemented, namely, Jammu and Kashmir and the northeastern states of India. The following article gives an account of stringent provisions of the said act which have been the cause of human rights violations in the states of northeast India. The article discusses the various provisions of this Act that are contradictory to and in breach of the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution of India and various other International Covenants ratified by India. It also throws light on the directive of the Supreme Court of India in regard to the constitutionality of the said Act.


The paper analyses the problematic sections of the said act, by explaining the meaning of those provisions along with the impact of the said provision. The Constitution of India embodies the principles of a welfare state. The main aim of the Constitution was to transform the Indian State from a police state to a welfare state. The enactment of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 is a regressive step that impedes the progress in achieving a welfare state.


Keywords: Armed forces Act, Human Rights Violation, North-eastern states

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