Why did Nirmala Sitharaman approve the FIR?

Does the silence of Nirmala Sitharaman mean that she gave a verbal approval for the FIR? Was due process not followed?

Does the silence of Nirmala Sitharaman mean that she gave a verbal approval for the FIR? Was due process not followed?
Does the silence of Nirmala Sitharaman mean that she gave a verbal approval for the FIR? Was due process not followed?

According to Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy, the First Information Report (FIR) clearance given by Nirmala Sitharaman (as claimed by Mehbooba Mufti) was un-authorised as it is clearly mentioned in Article 7 of the Armed Forces Special Protection Act (AFSPA) that specifically forbids any FIRs being registered against the Army action. Speaking to reporters after his meeting[1] with the President of India, Shri Ramnath Kovind, Swamy added that Pakistan is fully exploiting this FIR saga in the international community to tarnish India.

Choosing his words carefully, Swamy said that Pakistan has used this FIR to spread the message that the Indian Army is using brute force to kill children[2]. He added that this decision is a blot on the governance of our country (India).

“It has weakened our stance around the world. I have been asking Nirmala Sitharaman if she has given the sanction or not. It is now 10 days and seeing no response, I have requested the President of India to summon her under Article 75 and 78 and ask for an explanation.”

In the meantime, the father of Major Aditya, against whom the FIR has been filed, has taken up this matter with the Supreme Court and the apex court is expected to look into this on Monday. When asked about this development, Swamy said,

“If the Central government does not ask the Jammu and Kashmir Government to withdraw that FIR, we will come to grief in the Supreme Court, because this is a blatant violation of Section 7 of the AFSPA, without a prior sanction of the Government of India. There is a procedure for this – the State Govt. has to apply for it, there is an authority which will evaluate it and if it found merit, it goes to the President. No process was followed – it was a pure conversation between Nirmala Sitharaman and Mehbooba Mufti. But we can’t run the government on personal conversations.”

Details of this conversation, including the circumstances that led to the firing, are detailed in the link provided at the end of this article2.

The more interesting question that needs to be asked is why this issue is not being discussed in the Parliament? Swamy had filed a Calling Attention Motion in the Rajya Sabha on filing FIR against Army by J&K Police[3] but Zero hour has been hijacked by members of a regional party who have not been allowing the Zero Hour to function at all. What a waste of Public resources!

This matter needs to be resolved now. The political fallout of this has already begun and unless this is dealt with firmly, years of work invested in raising India’s profile in the international stage will be lost.

References:

[1] Swamy speaking to media after meeting the PresidentFeb 9, 2018, TimesNow

[2] Pakistan exploiting FIR against the Army by J & K State PoliceFeb 9, 2018, TimesNow

[3] Swamy files Calling Attention Motion in RS on filing FIR… Feb 4, 2018, PGurus.com

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33 COMMENTS

  1. Logical and Cool minded thinking is required when dealing with situations intermingled with laws of the land and service regulations, which is a must for any Def Minister, so by and large any Civilian politician raised to this level and having a say, feels uneasy and unsecure.
    Her action was totally WRONG.
    Suggestion: A view could be raised with GOI suggesting that the Def Minister should be a retired Services Offr of rank not less than Lt Col / Col (or equal rank of Navy / Air Force) while taking premature retirement/ being retired due to superannuation. A total Civilian becoming Def Minister is like advising someone how to go about solving a problem without he / she has never got an opportunity to encounter that type of problem.

  2. Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) came in to existence in 1958 to be used first in the North East, then in Punjab and then in J&K from 1990. This act allows any state government or UT to declare any area to be s a disturbed area for 6 months which could be continued thereafter by ratifying it in the state parliament for further specific period. In J&K, this lapsed during the the period when Mr. Faraooq Abdullah was CM. This act allows the armed forces to use force or open fire up on even causing death of any person who indulges in severe breech of public order. AFSPA also allows each such act to be challenged in the court of law when warranted. Where does the question of DM allowing or not allowing the CM for FIR? The state government must, in fact, withdraw the FIR on its ow in my opinion!

  3. Where does President of India (Supreme Commander) fit in this fiasco. Shouldn’t he castigate RM for acting against his job as supreme commander.
    Why do we have a president who can not ensure the constitution is followed by the legislative and executive branches of Govt, and armed forces are there to help him safeguard the constitution. Can he depend on armed forces if can not look after the armed forces, the job assigned to him under the consttution

  4. RM has, by approving f. I. R. againt army personnel, shown that she is not cut up for this job. She has done something which she is not authorized to do. She has not only committed blunder but has acted contrary to rules and the procedure duly established. She has lost respect from the army and will find it extremely difficult to do her job She should better resign or else asked to quit before she could further damage and demoralise the army.

  5. I am reminded of Parkinson’s Law- everybody rises to his level of incompetence. The present RM was a good spokesperson for the party but she has been vying with A K Antony to prove who is the worst RM of ‘independent’ India!

  6. Goongi goodiya can’t function as a DM of our country.” Pak will pay for it ” is not an answer to FIR.
    Please first you pay for allowing the fir to be filed by J and K police against our brave and selfless soldier.

  7. As all of us r aware this should have a sure nod of Modiji without which no Minister or Bureaucrat dares to do anything otherwise.. This has been the custom from PM Nehru to PM Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi but with a little deviation in the regime of PM Manmohansinghji where the Congress President and her Son were the dictating and instruting Authorities whose instructions Mild Manmohanji used to follow and practice. Unexpectedly, our Nation has lost its pride and prestige in the regime of so-called highly Nationalistic Hindutv and Patron of Patriotism and Deshbhaktvadi – Modiji more than his Predecessors who were though less Nationalistic and more being Political craftsmen. This FIR against the Saviour and selfless Armymen by selfish-motive Politicians whether it is State or Central Govts., is a big blot on BJP regime in general and Deshbhakt Modiji in particular akin to Congress misdemeanors . Pseudo-patriotism and pseudo-nationalism for the sake of Votes is once again proved. What is the fun of ARTIFICIAL slogans like Jai Jawaan, Vande mataram, Salutes to Veer Jawans etc.etc.???

  8. The primary fault of choosing Nirmala as the Defence Minister lies with the prime minister. The DM should logically be chosen who has a defence back ground or has served for a long time in close contact with the Defence Forces. This has not been done and therefore it is but natural for the DM to make a large number of deadly mistakes.
    The filing of the FIR would surely have had the approval of the PM OFFICE . They are equally to blame for this FIR.
    THIS FIR will go a long way in preventing the soldiers from taking intelligent and effective action in future . Let there be no doubt about it.

  9. When have we last seen a politician admit a lapse?
    The opposition is quiet as it suits them as of now…they aren’t great supporters of the army in such situations as also would not go well with the elite and intellectual sickular’s who chant anti India slogans.

  10. A verbal conversation cannot be the basis for filing FIR , But her continued silence on the matter really is of lot of concern. But another concern is, why the opposition has not raised this question, Are they not custodians of Army. They can laugh, they can charge but they do not ask why a Major has been booked for FIR. Are they with the stone pelters, or with the anti Indian forces ? This is more serious question.

    • Why do you bring in the opposition. The Ministers like th DM are inexperienced and immature.
      If they even genuinely ask something which is not palatable you Bhakts term it as anti-national,
      Do you not.

  11. It is indeed very arrogant on part of Nirmala to keep quiet this long. Needs to tender an apology forthwith for acting in an uninformed way and demoralising to the Forces. And what is the PM doing? Should sack her post haste in case she still keeps quiet. Or else, God save the country as the Commanders of the army will hesitate taking any action against terrorist enemies.

  12. May be Nirmal’s advisors mis guided her,there is still lot of congis bhakt,who play havoc to disturb Bjp administration,investigation needed..

  13. It is ironical that we have a Defence Minister who has reportedly allowed FIR being filed against the Army, whatever the background. PM should immediately act by seeking her resignation; otherwise the blame will fall on his doors and rightly so. Atleast on this issue, the entire opposition must unite and question the govt. on behalf of millions of common people who will surely feel the DM has acted foolishly.

  14. I really wonder how and why she was picked as defense minister replacing such a dynamic person like Manohar Parrikar. I am 100% sure that will lead us to people who wants all this mess at first place.

    • Parrikar was not Modi’s choice, hence. he left due to frustration because of uncooperative subordinates, who receive orders from PMO. All ministers in Modi govt are just like puppets.

  15. This is what happens when you put ordinary person incharge of a important portfolio without prior experience such decision blunders do happen & the reason for this is Modi & not Nirmala who appears to be talented, seems to have faltered in this FIR case. Need to select Ministers with proper background & ability to manage that ministry subject & they should be given detailed induction & set of advisers initially to hand hold them, unless someone with a prior vision has some indepth knowledge then only promote them to suit according to the talent.

  16. Looks like she is trying to hold on to her defence portfolio very tightly with both hands and legs….hahaha. Its over 2 weeks now. She must be kicked out now. What are government members doing about this now?

    • Pl. keep the conversation civil. You can question her competence but… Also, she did a good job handling the after-hurricane crisis. Credit her for that.

      • You can’t be serious comparing our soldiers with hurricane, is she wants the credit for these things she doesn’t need to be Defense Minister!

      • You have yourself brought up the issue of FIR and Swamy’s complaint. Naturally people will express their opinion. These days we dont behave in a civilised manner even when in Parliament so what civility are you talking about. So what other people
        can also what she did during hurricane crisis. This is not the first hurricane crisis we
        have handled in our 70 years. She is wrong she is wrong.

  17. There can be no question that Nirmala has committed a Himalayan blunder and must put in her papers gracefully. Otherwise she must be sacked.

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