The Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court that the army cannot be held responsible for alleged encounters in Manipur as it was discharging its sovereign function to defend the nation from external aggression. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said that Justice Santosh Hegde committee report on alleged 1,500 extra judicial killings should be "rejected". The committee had found in its report that the encounters were not genuine and the victims did not have any criminal record. Rohatgi told a bench of justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit that the army was only discharging its function of defending the country from external aggression, so the force cannot be blamed. "Our (Army) instructions are not to fire at the first instance. We do it in retaliation to the other side...," he said, adding that Justice Hegde committee report should be rejected. The report is already pending scrutiny of the government, he added. The AG said that the alleged 1,500 extra-judicial killings during the past one decade cannot be treated as a regular law and order problem. Justice Hegde committee was appointed in January 2013 to hold an inquiry into alleged fake encounter killings in Manipur after a PIL was filed by families of the victims. The committee was also mandated to address the larger question of the role of the state police and security forces and present a report on their functioning and make recommendations for keeping the police and security forces within the legal limits without compromising on the fight against insurgency if it was found that they violated legal bounds.