Army personnel take position after an IED blast in Pulwama
Army personnel (Representational Image)| ANI
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New Delhi: For the first time ever, a special human rights cell will be set up at the Army Headquarters, which will be the nodal body to look into any rights violations.

While the human rights section will be headed by a major general rank officer who will report to the vice chief, it will also have an IPS officer on deputation, as was reported by ThePrint in March.

Besides this, a special vigilance cell under the Army chief will be set up and it will have representatives from the Navy and the Air Force as well. These are some of the major reforms approved by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh as part of the re-organisation of Army Headquarters Wednesday.

In another significant change, Singh approved a proposal to make 206 officers, posted at the headquarters, available additionally to formations and units in the field. These include 186 officers of lieutenant colonel rank.

Under the reorganisation plan, the Army had proposed reducing around 20 per cent of the officer posts at the headquarters, the merger of two weapons and systems procurement agencies and the creation of a new deputy chief post for co-ordination between the military intelligence, operations and logistics wings.

The move is part of an overall process to make the 1.3 million-strong Indian Army leaner and fitter for 21st-century contingencies.

The Army had earlier commissioned four major in-house studies for greater integration; this restructuring is a result of one of the four studies.

Also read: IPS officer to take up post at Indian Army HQ to deal with human rights issues

The human rights cell

The new cell will ensure the Army’s compliance with human rights conventions and values, a statement by the Ministry of Defence said. It will be the nodal point to examine any HR violation reports.

“To enhance transparency and ensure the best of investigative expertise is available to the section, a police officer of SSP/SP rank will be taken on deputation,” it said.

Defence sources said the IPS officer will facilitate necessary coordination with other organisations and the home ministry on the human rights issues at hand.

The Indian Army often faces allegations of human rights violations, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast where it operates under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). Army sources, however, say most of the allegations have been found to be untrue following probes by the force.

The move to hire an IPS officer comes as the Army looks for a new structure for better coordination, said the sources.

Some Army officials, however, see the move as ceding of space to the IPS lobby. The Services and the IPS lobby have often been at loggerheads over various issues, including pay parity and operational experience.

A separate vigilance cell 

At present, the vigilance function for the Army chief is through multiple agencies and there is no single point interface.

The defence minister has now approved an independent vigilance cell that will be made functional under COAS (Chief of Army Staff). Accordingly, ADG (vigilance) will be placed directly under the COAS for this purpose.

The vigilance cell will have three colonel-level officers — one each from the Army, the Indian Air Force and the Navy.

This will be done within the existing posts at the Army headquarters. The set up is unique as the Army chief will now look into matters concerning the other services as well.

Also read: How one line in a Supreme Court order has led to a clash between IPS & CAPF officers


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8 Comments Share Your Views


  1. Posting a IPS officer to head the Human Rights Cell in Army HQ means that ACRs of armed forces officers in the HR Cell will be written by the IPS officer. This, is IMHO undesirable. It is not as if armed forces officers cannot head the HR Cell. What special talent does a IPS officer have regarding Human Rights? The Army is the most trusted organization in the country, and doesn’t need police personnel, when Police is among the least trusted (and most disliked) organizations. It is sad that the Army top brass has tamely acceded to the “intrusion”.

  2. It is factually incorrect that a Human Rights Cell “for the first time ever” is created in Army HQ. In fact, Army’s HR Cell was raised by order of COAS General P.C.Joshi, even before the NHRC was formed. I know since I was ADG DV (1994-1996) and the HR Cell was in my Directorate. The authors and “The Print” need to publish the correction AFTER VERIFYING THE FACT.

  3. Why IPS OFFICERS? Why government of India can not find any other humane officers with it to safeguard the human rights issue of jawans? For any job relating to any type of tights, UPSC officers and especially IPS is a bad choice.

  4. It’s an irony that the human rights of soldiers are being violated by their own officers. How can an individual who himself has been being victimized be able to stand for?

  5. This is a very good decision. But civil service officers should not be allocated any office in the armed forces. They will carry corruption, inefficiency and nepotism in the armed forces. Senior army officer should have been given this post. These bureaucrats work only as middle man to the politicians and business man.

  6. What a joke, In India, Police is the most violator of the human rights. In a recent case where an IPS lady officer kicked a pregnant lady resulted her miscarage. And daily average killing in lockup by the police is 3 to 4 citizens. Ashtoning, police will protect human right ???
    Actually, this is another place found by the bureaucrats to adjust their batch mate.

  7. Let these people be experts in Military Law , that is very different than civilian law… as challenges are different. Even in most western countries. USA for example has separate military courts run under military law by military judges for example .. google it. Upgrade the central police with military like training, because it is not good to use military as police in the long run. Police is mainly intel based military is seek and destroy based force so to say in a classical context.

  8. Praiseworthy. We love and respect our armed forces. They often have to work in situations where they are facing Indians, not a role they were normally trained or expected to perform. The human rights of citizens in disturbed areas are as valuable as in other parts of the country. Women in such zones need especially to be treated with dignity and respect. Major Gogoi has shamed all Indians of good conscience.


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