Apex court orders CBI probe into Manipur killings

15-07-2017
DH

A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit rejected a plea made by the Union government that all those incidents were of considerably old time and it would not be appropriate to re-open investigations.

“If a crime has been committed, a crime which involves the death of a person who is possibly innocent, it cannot be overlooked only because of a lapse of time... Merely because the state has not taken any action and has allowed time to go by, it cannot take advantage of the delay to scuttle an inquiry,” the bench said.

The Centre maintained that the victims were granted compensation. It also said the years of neglect or lack of investigation by the Manipur Police could have been due to local pressures and the ground situation over there.

“This (compensation) cannot override the law of the land, otherwise all heinous crimes would get settled through payment of monetary compensation,” Justice Lokur wrote on behalf of the bench in its 26-page judgement.

“Our constitutional jurisprudence does not permit us to shut the door on such persons and our constitutional obligation requires us to give justice and succour to the next of kin of the deceased,” the bench added.

The court also pointed out not a single FIR was registered against any personnel of the Manipur Police for all these years and in fact, FIRs were lodged against the family members of the victims.

The court directed the CBI chief to nominate a group of five officers to go through the records of the cases as pointed out in a PIL filed by Extra Judicial Execution Victims Families Association and another and complete the investigations by December 31. 

Of the 1528 deaths between 2000 and 2012, the court directed for investigations in those cases already gone into by the Commissions of Inquiry, the National Human Rights Commission and others.

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