Manipur violence investigation: The Attorney General testified in court that the government is handling the situation maturely and that it has filed an affidavit with cases segregated.
In addition to conducting an investigation, the committee, which will be composed of three former high court judges, will also consider rehabilitation and other matters in cases involving ethnic violence in the conflict-torn Manipur. The committee’s purview will extend beyond merely looking into violent incidents.
“Our goal is to boost trust in the rule of law once again. An initial committee made up of three former HC judges will be formed. In addition to conducting an investigation, this committee will also consider relief, corrective actions, and other issues, the court stated.
Justice Gita Mittal, a former chief justice of the J&K High Court, Justice Shalini Joshi, a former judge of the Bombay High Court, and Justice Asha Menon, a former judge of the Delhi High Court, will be the committee’s three members, according to the statement.
The court stated that Dattatray Padsalgikar, a former IPS officer, will direct the CBI investigation and that five officers from different states, all with at least the rank of DySP, will be brought into the CBI. According to the statement, these officers will also work within the CBI’s internal infrastructure and administrative framework.
“42 SITs will examine the cases that haven’t been forwarded to CBI. These SITs ought to be overseen by DIG-level officers from locations other than Manipur. Six SITs will be monitored by each officer to ensure that the investigation is being conducted properly, the court added.
The Center today informed the Supreme Court that district-based Special Investigation Teams will be established to look into cases of violence. The Supreme Court has reserved judgment on the petition asking for a Court Monitored Committee to look into cases of violence in the northeastern state.
Rajiv Singh, the director general of police in Manipur, was present at the hearing before the bench presided over by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud to respond to questions about the ethnic violence and the administration’s response to it thus far, as well as the segregation of cases for efficient investigation.
Attorney General R. Venkataramani said, “Let SITs be formed at district levels without allowing any outside investigation.”
According to Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, district level SITs will investigate First Information Reports, or FIRs, pertaining to crime against women that are more than 11 in number and being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation. These SITs will be led by female officers with the rank of Superintendent of Police.
“There are two female SP officers on the CBI team that will be looking into this. Officers for the CBI come from all over the nation. That balance has been taken, he declared.
According to the Attorney General, who also filed an affidavit segregating the cases, the government is handling the situation on a very mature level.
Senior Attorney Indira Jaising argued that the conflict was still going on and suggested a two-pronged strategy for dealing with it: investigation and crime prevention.
There are 16 FIRs that are crimes against women, and all of them need to be transferred to the CBI, according to advocate Nizam Pasha, who the Supreme Court praised last month for his insightful and “fair” suggestions aimed at easing the ongoing crisis.
“They’re calling it a SIT, but the state chooses the participants…The state police are accused of everything from active participation to perpetration in the allegations. If the selection is made by state cadre, the selection concern is not increased. The court should make the choice. Law enforcement officers from other states ought to serve as public prosecutors, he suggested.
There needs to be an independent body to look into the supply of weapons and ammunition, according to advocate Prashant Bhushan.
According to the Centre, it might not be appropriate to not trust the police with the investigation.
“It might not be wise to have no faith in police officers. Judiciary officers alone should be included in the proposed committee that the Supreme Court will appoint, not civil society organizations, SG Mehta said.
The top court declared on August 1 that law and order as well as the constitutional machinery had completely broken down in Manipur. It had criticized the state police for conducting a “tardy” and “lethargic” investigation into cases of racial violence, particularly those that targeted women, and had called the DGP to appear before it on August 7.
The Centre had requested that 11 out of 6,523 FIRs related to violence against women and children be transferred to the CBI and tried outside of Manipur in place of the two FIRs connected to a video showing women being paraded naked by a mob.
Around ten petitions relating to the violence were being heard by the bench today. The petitions asked for relief, including a court-monitored investigation into the cases, as well as measures for rehabilitation and other relief.
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