THE ARMED FORCES (SPECIAL POWERS) ACT, 1958
(Act 28 OF 1959)
An Act to enable certain special powers to be conferred upon members of the armed forces in disturbed areas in the States of Assam , Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura and the Union Territories of Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram.
BE it enacted by Parliament in the Ninth Year of the Republic of India as follows :—
1. Short title and extent.—(1) This Act may be called the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958.
(2) It extends to the whole of the State of Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura and the Union Territories of Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram.
2. Definitions.—In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,
(a) "armed forces" means the military forces and the air forces operating as land forces, and includes any other armed forces of the Union so operating;
(b) "disturbed area" means an area which is for the time being declared by notification under s.3 to be a disturbed area;
(c) All other words and expressions used herein, but not defined and defined in the Air Force Act, 1950 or the Army Act 1950, shall have the meanings respectively attached to them in those Acts.
3. Power to declare areas to be disturbed areas.—If, in relation to any State or Union Territory to which this Act extends, the Governor of that State or the Administrator of that Union Territory of the Central Government in either case, is of the opinion that the whole or any part of such State or Union Territory, as the case may be, is in such a disturbed or dangerous condition that the use of armed forces in aid of the civil power is necessary, the Governor of that State or the Administrator of that Union Territory or the Central Government, as the case may be, may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare the whole or such part of such State or Union Territory to be a disturbed area.
4. Special powers of the armed forces.—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 hideout 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;