Manipur fake encounter cases: SC dismisses the writ petition for recusal of judges

The Supreme Court on November 12, 2018, delivered a judgement in the Lourembam Deben Singh & others v. Union of India & Ors. etc. and Raj Kumar Brojen & Ors. v. Union of India. The writ petition was filed by some police personal of Manipur police - Lourembem Deban Singh (Writ petition, Criminal, No. 205/2018) and Raj Kumar Brojen (writ petition, Criminal No. 206/2018) under Article 32 of the Constitution of India. These petitions have the support of “few hundred officers from the Indian Army, the paramilitary forces and Manipur Police”. The writ application was made for recusal of judges but the court dismisses it and says “we find no merit in these applications and therefore dismiss them”. The two member bench of the Supreme Court, Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit gave a landmark observation on the discourse of “demoralising the Indian army and security forces”. There has been claims of “demoralising Indian army, para-military and state police forces” by the state security forces including Indian Army whenever asking for punishment of the security forces when they got involved extra judicial execution. In a similar way, the learned Attorney General, representing government of India had submitted to the Supreme Court with the support of Indian Army, the paramilitary forces and the Manipur Police that they have been demoralised by the observations made by the court. The court observed, “This is a rather overbroad submission”. And further observed, “ In any event, in our opinion, it should be clear to anyone that the officer and the personnel of the Indian Army, paramilitary forces and the state police are made of much sterner stuff than is sought to be projected and they can handle be demoralised by observations said to have been made by anyone. It is unfortunate that a bogey of demoralisation of Indian Army, paramilitary forces and the state police is being raised. We are unable to comprehend the reason for this. As mentioned earlier, the Indian Army, paramilitary forces, and the state police are made of sterner stuff and are discipline force strong enough to take everything in their stride. To contend that some observation said to have been made by this court have demoralised the Indian Army, the paramilitary forces and the Manipur Police is suggestive of a weakness in them. Be that as it may, this is really stretching the argument to the vanishing point.” And the benched strongly observed, “That a part, there is no material to support the theory of the Indian Army, Para military forces and the Manipur Police being demoralised. It is only a submission made for some unfathomable reason”