SC-appointed Commission gives report on its investigation of the extra-judicial killings in Manipur
Extra Judicial Execution Victim Families Association (EEVFAM) & Anr. Versus Union of India & Anr. These two writ petitions, each filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India, raise some disquieting issues pertaining to the State of Manipur. In this writ petition it is stated that during the period May, 1979 to May, 2012, 1528 people were killed in Manipur in extra-judicial execution. The statement is mainly based on a memorandum prepared by 'Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights in Manipur and the UN' and submitted to one Christof Heyns, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Mission to India, 19-30 March, 2012. The Memorandum compiles the list of 1528 people allegedly killed unlawfully by the State Police or the security forces. The writ petitioners later on filed "Compilation 1" and "Compilation 2". In "Compilation 1" details are given of ten (10) cases relating to the killings of eleven (11) persons (out of the list of 1528); in "Compilation 2", similarly details are given of thirteen (13) cases in which altogether seventeen (17) persons (out of the list of 1528) are alleged to have been killed in extra judicial executions. The Supreme Court on 24 Nov 2012 questioned the "orientation" of the Manipur government over extra-judicial killings in the state and reprimanded it for drawing a parallel with the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra, which are already under the court's scanner over contentious encounters. Manipur, in its response to a PIL which alleged 1,528 extra-judicial killings in last 30 years in the state, had requested the court to consider this matter along with two other pending cases relating to encounter killings. Read more A Supreme Court-appointed high-power commission, headed by the retired SC judge Santosh Hegde, probing six cases of alleged extra-judicial killings in Manipur, has found in their report that these were not genuine encounters and the victims did not have any criminal records. The report makes it clear that the guidelines on encounters laid down by the SC in the Naga People s Movement case was not followed. Read more The Centre on 9 April, 2013, submitted before the Supreme Court that findings of the apex court appointed committee's report on extra judicial killings in Manipur are being examined at highest level. Appearing before a bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam, Additional Solicitor General Paras Kuhat said the Santosh Hegde committee report is seen at highest level in Army headquarters and Home and Defence ministries. Read more The Honorable Supreme Court has given its Judgment and directed as follows: The writ petitioners make the prayer to constitute a Special Investigation Team comprising police officers from outside Manipur to investigate the cases of unlawful killings listed in the writ petition and to prosecute the alleged offenders but at this stage we are not inclined to appoint any Special investigation Team or to direct any investigation under the Code of Criminal Procedure. Instead, we would first like to be fully satisfied about the truth of the allegations concerning the cases cited by the writ petitioners. To that end, we propose to appoint a high powered commission that would tell us the correct facts in regard to the killings of victims in the cases cited by the petitioners. We, accordingly, constitute a three-member commission as under: Mr. Justice N. Santosh Hegde, a former Judge of the Supreme Court of India, as Chairperson Mr. J. M. Lyngdoh, former Chief Election Commissioner, as Member Mr. Ajay Kumar Singh, former DGP and IGP, Karnataka. We request the Commission to make a thorough enquiry in the first six cases as detailed in "Compilation 1", filed by the petitioners and record a finding regarding the past antecedents of the victims and the circumstances in which they were killed. The State Government and all other concerned agencies are directed to hand over to the Commission, without any delay, all records, materials and evidences relating to the cases, as directed above, for holding the enquiry. It will be open to the Commission to take statements of witnesses in connection with the Enquiry conducted by it and it will, of course, be free to devise its own procedure for holding the enquiry. In light of the enquiries made by it, the Commission will also address the larger question of the role of the State Police and the security forces in Manipur. The Commission will also make a report regarding the functioning of the State Police and security forces in the State of Manipur and in case it finds that the actions of the police and/or the security forces transgress the legal bounds the Commission shall make its recommendations for keeping the police and the security forces within the legal bounds without compromising the fight against insurgency.