A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE ARMED FORCES SPECIAL POWER ACT (AFSPA). A NEED OF THE TIME OR A DELINEATION FROM THE MORALITY OF THE LAW?
Martin Luther King Jr. stated that “There are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”
Armed forces special power act (AFSPA hereafter) is imposed on states or areas by the center of the governor of a state after it is declared “disturbed” under section 3 of the said Act. The Act defines these areas to be hazardous or prone to militancy and gives exclusive power to the armed forces deployed in these areas. It is the comprehensive power that the armed forces enjoy after the implementation of this act that is becoming the reason for apprehension. Pure impunity to the armed forces under this act gives them the power to shoot down any person on mere suspicion of them being involved in the contravention of the law. Various claims questioning the authenticity of these encounters have been raised with negligible or no action being taken at all. This paper accentuates various such claims and also a handy view of the act of violating human rights. The paper undertakes empirical and analytical research into the morality, or immortality of law, whichever can be concluded upon elucidating the facts and circumstances and in consequence, the predicament of those who are affected by AFSPA.
The letter of the law in the paper is one thing, its motive is another, and its application, that matters, is a whole different thing, that is the real subject matter of any law. And the real evaluation of law is through those who are affected by it, be it in negative or positive terms. The political aspirations of the rest of the country can never scapegoat the equally innocent precious lives, as a sacrifice to sustain or replenish the former. The paper also concerns a jurisprudential analysis of the said Act. The paper concludes that if it is imminent in all circumstances to sustain this law to sustain peace, which the data proves contrary, then it would also be in the best interest of humanity, peace, and the morality of the country to make some serious deliberations upon the law.