- Petitioner asked to order a court-monitored probe into the death of jawan
- The petition sought to issue guidelines to prevent abuse of provisions of Official Secrets Act
A women journalist, booked for carrying out a sting operation in Army camp moved Supreme Court seeking probe into the death of the jawan who was featured in the video. Delhi-based scribe, working with the web portal Quint had carried out a sting operation at the army camp in Nasik to expose the 'sahayak system' prevailing the military.
The video featured Roy Mathew, a jawan from Kerala, who was later found dead in a room in the abandoned barracks t Deolali Cantonment. The Army had informed that the official committed suicide and his body was found hanging in the room, and he has been dead for around three days considering the extent of decomposition.
The Army clarified that the jawan went missing within 24 hours after the release of the video and committed suicide owing to guilt. The video featured Mathew walking dogs of senior officers and taking their children to school had created an uproar over the British-era practice still prevailing in the Army.
Following this, Nasik police lodged a FIR against Agarwal and a retired army officer Deep Chand under various provisions of IPC and the Official Secrets Act.
The petition filed at the Supreme Court seeks probe into the incident and to issue guidelines to prevent abuse of provisions of Official Secrets Act. It was submitted that the issue in question was related to manipulation of evidence, questioning journalistic freedom, hushing up of criminal offences and denying the right to freedom of speech and expression.
The plea also stated that the reporting officer of Mathew had called the wife of jawan to dissuade them from lodging missing complaint. "The immediate provocation for invoking of the draconian provisions under the OSA against the petitioners is to scuttle and prevent a fair investigation into the unnatural death of one of the jawans who figured in the broadcast clip aired on February 24 with all faced blurred," the plea said.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 7:01 PM IST