After providing immunity to army, AFSPA, is now finding it way in civil administration as well. This time it is being used to manage pests and diseases of plants and animals.
The proposed law on the Agriculture Biosecurity Bill introduced in parliament providing establishment of an Agriculture Biosecurity Authority of India, for prevention, control, eradication and management of pests and diseases of plants and animals, has a provision taken directly from the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
According to section 74 of the bill, no prosecution or legal proceedings shall lie against the government or any member of proposed authority or officers or other employees of the central government for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done under this act.
Section 75 goes even further, saying, no civil court shall have jurisdiction in respect of any matter which the authority or Central Government is empowered by or under this Act to determine and no injunction shall be granted by any court in respect of any action taken or to be taken by the Authority and the Central Government in pursuance of any power conferred by or under this Act.
This even means that officials experimenting or introducing genetically modified seeds or otherwise, resulting in the destruction of crop or swarming of pests etc, affecting food security cannot be tried in any court of law. They shall enjoy immunity.