The Supreme Court (SC) on October 20 directed the Manipur High Court to decide within six months the issue of a grant to prosecute security officers suspected of extrajudicial murders in Manipur from 2000 to 2012.
Meanwhile, a bench comprising Chief Justice Uday Umesh Lalit and Justice Bela M Trivedi allowed the CBI to give the investigators of the apex court-appointed SIT some additional work after Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati said the probe into the alleged extra-judicial killings was completed.
According to the law officer, status reports have been made on a regular basis in the issue, and charge sheets have been presented in 19 of the 39 instances investigated by the SIT, with closure reports in 18.
“In 39 cases, which were investigated by the agency pursuant to the apex court’s order, the oldest case was in 1984. Your lordships had said that every single allegation need not be enquired into,” said Bhati adding that now that the investigation is complete, government workers may be allowed to undertake some more work.
Senior lawyers Colin Gonsalves and Maneka Guruswamy, however, contested the submission that the probe in all cases was over.
The lawyers said what is being investigated by the SIT was only one part and the rest of the task was still unfinished and incomplete.
“I have a difficulty, I cannot take up matters which are going to take long. I would rather adjourn the matter. Since the time I used to sit with Justice (M B) Lokur (since retired) in the Bench, this matter has not been taken up,” the CJI said on October 21.
“The matter shall be gone into principally on two issues namely the status report submitted by the authorities and whether certain additional cases are needed to be inquired into or investigated as projected by Guruswamy and Gonsalves. Let this matter be listed before an appropriate court,” the court recorded in its order.
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