The Centre does not seem to be interested in doing anything despite the seriousness of the issue which has implications for state security and public safety
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday expressed concern on the open sale of Army apparel and gear as it pulled the Centre for not taking the issue seriously.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar also asked the Delhi government to take steps to curb the sale and manufacture of such items.
Expressing displeasure, the court said the Centre does not seem to be interested in doing anything despite the seriousness of the issue which has implications for state security and public safety.
The court's observations came in the backdrop of recent terror strikes, including the Pathankot airforce base attack in January 2016 by terrorists who were dressed in Indian Army fatigues, leading to the death of seven security personnel, including a Lieutenant Colonel.
In November 2016, terrorists dressed in police uniform had attacked the Army's XVI Corps headquarters at Nagrota in Jammu district, killing seven security personnel, including two officers.
On Wednesday, the court directed the AAP government to take immediate steps to curb private manufacturing, stocking and sale of military apparel and gear used by the Armed Forces.
It also asked the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to forthwith take action to comply with several government communications in this regard, dating back to 1986-99. It also asked the authorities to file a report in this regard in eight weeks, noting that despite there being a penal provision to punish those wearing or carrying tokens used by soldiers, not a single action has been taken.
The court was hearing a plea by NGO Fight for Human Rights which had raised the issue citing the terror attacks and submitted that private sale of military apparel and gear was a cause for concern.