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SC Judges Decline to Stop Hearing Manipur Encounter Cases, Junk Plea by Army Men, Cops

The Supreme Court bench dismissed a bunch of plea files by the Manipur policemen, who had objected to certain remarks reportedly made by the judges against them during the proceedings.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:November 12, 2018, 10:48 AM IST
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SC Judges Decline to Stop Hearing Manipur Encounter Cases, Junk Plea by Army Men, Cops
The Supreme Court of India. (News18 Creative)
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New Delhi: Justices Madan B Lokur and Uday U Lalit on Monday declined to recuse themselves from hearing the Manipur fake encounter killing cases.

The Supreme Court bench dismissed a bunch of plea files by the Manipur policemen, who had objected to certain remarks reportedly made by the judges against them during the proceedings.

"There is no merit in the plea. The continuing mandamus will go on. Investigations, as ordered by this Court will continue," held the bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Uday U Lalit.

According to some media reports, the bench had called the accused policemen as 'murderers' and 'rapists' while questioning the CBI why they have not been arrested despite registration of the FIRs.

The bench, however, had later dismissed these reports and said these were the words used by the CBI officials in the court.

The central government, through the Attorney General, had also supported the policemen's plea for recusal of these two judges.

Attorney General K K Venugopal had told the court that the alleged reported remarks of the bench that these cops were "murderers" has affected the morale of the police and the armed forces.

He added the armed forces in Manipur are facing difficult times fighting insurgency and the court's remarks has completely shaken their morale.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the Manipur commandos, had said the comments made by the judges foreclose his client’s case before the trial court.

“There is apprehension that we are not likely to get justice and the future course of proceedings may be tilted against us,” he submitted, adding “it is our case that this court should not hear this matter.”

The court, which is hearing a PIL seeking probe into as many as 1,528 cases of alleged extra-judicial killings in Manipur, had in July last year constituted the SIT and ordered lodging of over three dozen FIRs and investigation.

It had also held that there cannot be absolute immunity to the security forces even under areas under AFSPA and that human rights cannot be trampled upon in the name of curbing insurgency.

But the bench, in its order, remained unimpressed with the contentions of the Manipur policemen and the army personnel.

It made it clear that the impugned observations, in no manner, will prejudice any trial or rights of any person.​

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