SC says armed forces answerable to govt, otherwise there will be martial law

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The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking to restrain the government from using the issue of surgical strikes and other actions of armed forces for political gains.
The SC underlined that the country’s armed forces are answerable to the Cabinet and the government, “otherwise there would be martial law in the country”.
A bench of Justices Amitava Roy and UU Lalit made this observation as it dismissed a plea seeking action against Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for allegedly interfering and claiming credit for the surgical strikes conducted by the Indian Army in PoK.
“This plea is not maintainable and is hence dismissed. Armed forces are answerable to the government, otherwise, you will have martial law in this country. We don’t see any merit in the plea,” the bench said.
The PIL was filed by Delhi-based lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma.
Sharma, who had filed the plea, said that Union Ministers including the Defence Minister had been claiming credit for the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army, for which they are not entitled to because as per the provisions of the Constitution, the President is the head of the armed forces.
He alleged that the armed forces’ action was being used for the personal interests of a few.
Sharma sought that prosecution be initiated against those who tried to interfere and claim credit for the operations carried out by the armed forces.
To this, the bench said “what is the personal interest in this? Armed forces are answerable to the government.”
The court said the plea was not maintainable and hence dismissed.
The Indian Army carried out surgical strikes on the intervening night of September 28 and 29 targeting “launch pads” for terrorists across the Line of Control (LoC).

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