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Explained: Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958

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New Delhi, Dec 07: There has been a demand to repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 after 14 civilians lost their lives in a botched up operation by the Indian Army at the Mon District of Nagaland.

Explained: Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958

This is an Act to enable certain special powers to the armed forces in the disturbed areas of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram and Nagaland.

India developing indigenous anti-drone technology, security forces will get it soon: Amit ShahIndia developing indigenous anti-drone technology, security forces will get it soon: Amit Shah

The Act says that any commissioned officer, warrant officer, non-commissioned officer or any other person of equivalent rank in the armed forces may in a disturbed area:

a) if he is of opinion that it is necessary so to do for the maintenance of public order, after giving such due warning as he may consider necessary, fire upon or otherwise use force, even to the causing of death, against any person who is acting in contravention of any law or order for the time being in force in the disturbed area prohibiting the assembly of five or more persons or the carrying of weapons or of things capable of being used as weapons or of fire-arms, ammunition or explosive substances.

b) if he is of opinion that it is necessary so to do, destroy any arms dump, prepared or fortified position or shelter from which armed attacks are made or are likely to be made or are attempted to be made, or any structure used as a training camp for armed volunteers or utilised as a hide-out by armed gangs or absconders wanted for any offence;

(c) arrest, without warrant, any person who has committed a cognizable offence or against whom a reasonable suspicion exists that he has committed or is about to commit a cognizable offence and may use such force as may be necessary to effect the arrest;

(d) enter and search without warrant any premises to make any such arrest as aforesaid or to recover any person believed to be wrongfully restrained or confined or any property reasonably suspected to be stolen property or any arms, ammunition or explosive substances believed to be unlawfully kept in such premises, and may for that purpose use such force as may be necessary.

Arrested person:

Any person arrested and taken into custody under this Act shall be made over to the officer in charge of the nearest police station with the least possible delay, together with a report of the circumstances occasioning the arrest.


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    No prosecution, suit or other legal proceeding shall be instituted, except with the previous sanction of the Central Government, against any person in respect of anything done or purported to be done in exercise of the powers conferred by this Act.

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