Kargil war: SC sets aside AFT’s direction to correct ‘after-action report’

NEW DELHI, Aug 23:
The Supreme Court today set aside the ATF direction asking the Centre to correct the ‘after-action report’ on operations by an Army brigade in the 1999 Kargil war following a Brigadier’s allegation that the battle account was incorrectly recorded.
The apex court noted that the ‘after-action report’ is a compilation submitted by officers during the operation collected and maintained for future strategic studies and has no adverse consequences for any officer.
A bench comprising Justices L N Rao and Hemant Gupta allowed the appeal filed by the Centre which had challenged the May 2010 order of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT).
The Brigadier claimed that battle records regarding operation in Batalik sector by an infantry brigade, commanded by him in ‘operation Vijay’ during the Kargil war, were incorrect.
He claimed in the top court that he had forecast the pattern of Kargil intrusion but it was summarily dismissed by his senior officers.
The apex court, while deciding the Centre’s appeal against the AFT’s direction, said such report is not subject to judicial review and has no civil consequences.
“We find the issue raised is more to take credit by the officers engaged in operation Vijay. The reports do not have any civil consequences, therefore, is not subject to judicial review by the tribunal or the courts,” the bench said.
It noted the synopsis furnished by the Brigadier’s counsel saying that he does not want any personal relief from the court but only wants correct historical facts to be drawn and declared by the top court.
“The tribunal or the court is not the authority to appreciate the historical facts as it is for the experts and officers in the armed forces to record such facts in terms of the procedure established by them,” the bench said.
“This court neither has the expertise nor has the jurisdiction to sit over the reports furnished by the officers in respect of credit to the officers involved in the operation Vijay,” the bench said while setting aside AFT’s direction.
The top court also noted that the Brigadier was conferred ‘Vishisht Seva Medal’ as the commander of an infantry brigade in the Northern Command which was given the responsibility for conducting operations in Batalik-Yaldor sector during operation Vijay. (PTI)

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