The Supreme Court has taken up the issue of ethnic violence in Manipur, beginning hearings on a series of petitions related to the matter. In response to the situation, the state government has suggested the formation of Special Investigation Teams (SITs) to investigate the cases, with district Superintendents of Police (SPs) at their helm.
During the hearings, Manipur’s Director General of Police, Rajiv Singh, appeared before the bench led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud, to provide insights into the ethnic violence and the actions taken by the administration thus far. The court sought clarification on the segregation of cases to facilitate effective investigations.
Representing the Centre and the state government, Attorney General R Venkataramani and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted a report, as requested by the apex court on August 1. The report covered various aspects, including the segregation of cases and the measures undertaken by the government.
Commending the government’s approach, the attorney general informed the bench, which also included Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, that the situation was being handled with maturity.
As part of the proposed measures, the state government plans to establish SITs at the district level, headed by Superintendents of Police, to investigate sensitive cases. Additionally, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will handle 11 cases for further examination.
The hearing is currently in progress.
The Supreme Court on August 01 expressed grave concern over the complete breakdown of law and order and the constitutional machinery in Manipur. The court criticized the state police for their slow and inadequate investigation into incidents of ethnic violence, particularly those targeting women. As a result, the DGP was summoned to address the court’s queries on August 7.
The Centre urged the bench to transfer 11 out of the 6,523 FIRs related to violence against women and children to the CBI for investigation and trial outside of Manipur. This decision was prompted by two FIRs concerning a distressing video showing women being paraded naked by a mob.
The bench is presently considering around ten petitions pertaining to the violence, seeking a range of remedies, including a court-monitored probe into the cases and measures for rehabilitation and support.