Government to seek SC’s nod in Kalia’s case
Taking a U-turn, the Central Government has decided to seek the SC's nod for moving the case of Captain Saurabh Kalia's death to the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Captain Kalia had been killed by Pakistani soldiers during the Kargil war. Since both are commonwealth nations, India and Pakistan can't approach ICJ against each other. But this case is exceptional, according to the Government.
A 6-man team of India's 121 brigade was patrolling the LOC on 5th May 1999, when they were taken captive by the Pakistani army. Weeks later, mutilated bodies of the 6 soldiers were returned by Pakistan. Condition of the bodies proved that the deaths were caused by torture. Skulls were smashed, eyes were taken out and genitals were severed.
Along with Captain Saurabh Kalia, other soldiers to be held captive and tortured by Pakistan were sepoys Arjun Ram, Bhanwar Lal Bagaria, Bhika Ram, Moola Ram and Naresh Singh.
Saurabh Kalia's father had moved the SC, seeking that it directs the Government to take up the case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The petition alleged that no steps were taken by the Government despite several representations. The family wanted an apology from Pakistan and the torture of Saurabh Kalia to be declared a war crime.
Captain Kalia's father Dr N K Kalia, the Flags of Honour Foundation and Member of Parliament Rajeev Chandrasekhar have filed a petition at the UN Human Rights Council against the torture inflicted by the Pakistani army on Captain Saurabh Kalia and 5 others. Petitioners requested for a completely independent probe into the matter. Rajeev Chandrasekhar has earlier raised the issue in Parliament also.
Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that he was unsure whether Captain Kalia was killed by Pakistan or he died due to the weather. He expressed his desire to meet Captain Kalia's father. SC said that it would cross-check if it had the power to direct the Government to take up this issue at the international forum, before asking the Government to do so.
Modi Government has decided against moving the ICJ on Captain Kalia's case and said that it won't be practicable. The UPA government had told the SC that it can't approach the ICJ since Pakistan won't permit it. SC asked the Modi Government to clarify its decision by 25th August.
According to the Geneva convention (1929), "Prisoners of Wars have the right to honor and respect, and that women shall be treated with all the regard due to their sex."