SC slams CBI for its approach into probe on Manipur fake encounter killings

SC also directed the NHRC to depute 3 persons to associate with the SIT to carry out investigation in 17 out of the 42 cases.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday slammed the CBI for not complying with its directions to register FIR against the Army, police and paramilitary personnel involved in the fake encounter killings in Manipur.

A bench of Justice Madan B Lokur and Uday Lalit told the Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh that they are not satisfied with the progress made by the CBI.

Justice Lokur observed, “We are not satisfied with the progress made by the CBI. It appears only FIRs have been re-registered against the victims. We wanted you to speed up the investigation and speed up the process.”

The ASG said, “We are probing the case and would take action against the real accused.”

In response, Justice Lokur said, “Your explanation is just not satisfactory. Enough is enough. You do it immediately. You (CBI) lodge counter FIRs immediately against the Army, police and paramilitary forces.”

When the ASG asked, “Where is the complainant for registration of FIR”, the Bench shot back saying, “We are the complainant.”

The bench also directed National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to depute three or four persons to assist the CBI in the 17 cases, which the NHRC had probed.

In the last hearing, the court had asked CBI to re-register FIRs against police and paramilitary forces. The CBI on Monday gave its status report including new FIRs. After perusing the status report, the bench observed, “You (CBI) are still showing victims as accused and filed FIR against them. We want CBI to reach out to the truth. Therefore, asked you to probe. But you are not doing that.”

Acting on a batch of PILs complaining about 98 fake encounter deaths in Manipur, the court in July 2017 had ordered probe by CBI into extra judicial killings in Manipur by police and paramilitary forces.

Describing the NHRC as nothing but a ‘toothless tiger’ as its investigations are not implemented by the states, the court ordered a CBI probe into the 98 fake encounter killings in Manipur in the last decade by a special investigating team.

The bench asked the Director of the CBI to nominate a group of five officers to go through the records of the cases, lodge necessary FIRs and to complete the investigations into the same by 31st December, 2017 and prepare charge sheets, wherever necessary.

The bench took note of the amicus curiae’s submission that in none of the 98 cases an FIR been registered against the Manipur Police or any uniformed personnel of the armed forces of the Union. On the contrary, FIRs have been registered against the deceased for alleged violations of the law.

It further noted that under these circumstances, it would be inappropriate for the court to depend upon the Manipur Police to carry out an impartial investigation more particularly when some of its own personnel are said to be involved in the fake encounters.

The court has posted the matter for further hearing on March 12.

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