Supreme Court Urges CBI Probe & Action on Manipur Violence And Sexual Assault Cases

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Posted in Featured, Manipur, Northeast
NET Web Desk

Guwahati, July 27, 2023: The Supreme Court made an important request on Thursday from a petitioner seeking an independent committee, led by a retired apex court judge, to investigate the distressing incidents of sexual assault and violence in Manipur. The petitioner was directed to present the plea before a bench presided by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud.

The matter was initially mentioned for listing before Justices S K Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia as Chief Justice Chandrachud was not presiding on that particular day.

Advocate Vishal Tiwari, who filed the petition, brought to the bench’s attention that other pleas related to Manipur violence were already scheduled for hearing on Friday. He requested his plea also be listed on that day alongside the connected matters.

The bench questioned the necessity for an additional plea on the matter, pointing out that the court was already aware of and handling related pleas. However, it agreed to hear the matter the following day before Chief Justice Chandrachud.

Tiwari’s plea highlighted the grave violations of the rule of law and the appalling brutality, chaos, and anarchy prevailing in Manipur. The recent viral video depicting the disgraceful treatment of two women by a mob and subjecting them to sexual harassment deeply shocked the nation.

The petitioner alleged that despite ongoing violence, assault, sexual harassment, rape, and riots in Manipur, the Union of India and the Manipur government have taken no action in this regard.

Tiwari’s plea called for an independent expert committee to be constituted, with a mandate to submit its report within four weeks. The plea also sought action against state agencies for their alleged dereliction of duty and non-compliance with the 2013 verdict of the apex court in the Lalita Kumari case.

The Lalita Kumari case verdict outlined guidelines for the police, mandating the registration of an FIR under Section 154 of the CrPC when information discloses a cognizable offense, and disallowing a preliminary inquiry in such situations.

The petitioner also urged for a CBI investigation into the violence in Manipur.

Previously, on July 20, the Supreme Court expressed deep concern over a video showing two women being paraded naked in strife-torn Manipur, deeming the use of women as instruments for violence unacceptable in a constitutional democracy. The court directed the Centre and Manipur government to take immediate remedial, rehabilitative, and preventive actions and provide updates on the measures taken.

The violence in Manipur, which began on May 3 during a ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ to protest the Meitei community’s demand for Scheduled Tribe status, has resulted in the deaths of at least 150 people and left several hundred injured.

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