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Extra-judicial killing in Manipur: SC asks why FIRs against victims

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday slammed the CBI’s SIT for not properly probing alleged extra-judicial killings by the Army, Assam Rifles and police in Manipur and asked why FIRs were lodged against the victims and not against officers.

A division bench of Justices M.B. Lokur and Justice U.U. Lalit said it was “not satisfied” with the progress made by the SIT of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the investigation.

“I am sorry but there is something terribly wrong… You (CBI) filed FIR against the victim (who are dead) saying he was insurgent. File FIR immediately. Enough is enough. We are not satisfied,” the bench said.

The court was hearing a PIL seeking a probe into as many as 1,528 cases of extra-judicial killings in Manipur.

On July 14, 2017, the apex court had constituted the Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising five CBI officers and ordered registration of FIRs and investigation into alleged extra-judicial killings in Manipur.

During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh told the court that told the SIT had registered 42 cases so far on such killings.

However, senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, appearing for the petitioner, told the beach that out of these 42 FIRs, 40 have been lodged against the dead persons.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) also complained to the bench that SIT has been registering cases against the victims. To this, the court said it wants the NHRC to assist the probing team as the issue was “getting out of control”.

The court directed the NHRC to depute three persons to associate with the SIT to carry out investigation in 17 (in which NHRC has done preliminary enquiry) cases.

The court said it wanted the SIT to process its investigation in an “expeditious way” and in accordance with its judgement.

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

The court, which was hearing a PIL seeking probe into 1,528 alleged extra-judicial killings, had ordered registration of FIR in 81 cases including 32 probed by a Commission of Enquiry, 32 investigated by judicial authorities, 11 in which compensation was awarded and six probed by the commission headed by former Supreme Court judge Santosh Hegde.