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Manipur Violence: Supreme Court Forms Expert Panel for Investigation and Rehabilitation

– Supreme Court’s holistic approach towards resolving the Manipur Violence

  • Retired high court judges to lead committee, ensuring thorough and impartial probe.
  • Special Investigation Teams (SITs) at district level for localized scrutiny of cases.
  • Emphasis on crimes against women, dedicated women SP-rank officers to lead investigations.
  • Court’s comprehensive initiative aims to restore stability and justice in strife-hit Manipur.
Summary: The Supreme Court introduces an expert committee to investigate and provide relief for the escalating ethnic violence in Manipur, encompassing rehabilitation measures and justice delivery, showcasing a holistic approach towards resolving the crisis.

New Delhi, 07 AUGUST(City Times): In a groundbreaking move, the Supreme Court has proposed a multi-pronged strategy to address the escalating ethnic violence in Manipur. This initiative not only includes a comprehensive investigation but also emphasizes the crucial aspects of rehabilitation and assistance. The court’s innovative approach aims to restore stability and justice to the strife-torn region.

Holistic Approach for Resolution

The Supreme Court has introduced a comprehensive plan to tackle the rising ethnic violence in Manipur. The court suggests forming a committee of three retired high court judges to not only investigate the unrest but also consider rehabilitation and assistance measures for the affected individuals.

Expert Panel to Lead

The proposed committee will consist of respected legal figures: Justice Gita Mittal (former Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court), Justice Shalini Joshi (former Judge of Bombay High Court), and Justice Asha Menon (formerly associated with Delhi High Court). In addition, former IPS officer Dattatray Padsalgikar will oversee the CBI investigation, aided by five Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) officers from different states.

Localized Investigation

The strategy involves forming Special Investigation Teams (SITs) at the district level. Led by Deputy Inspector General (DIG) officers from outside Manipur, these teams will handle cases not transferred to the CBI. A key focus will be crimes against women, with dedicated district-level SITs, headed by women Superintendent of Police (SP) officers, concentrating on these cases.

Empowering Women’s Justice

The initiative’s emphasis on women’s safety is evident through its dedicated approach to crimes against women. Women SP-rank officers will lead district-level SITs, ensuring rigorous investigation and targeted resolution for such cases.

Assertive Stand on Law and Order

Against the backdrop of escalating ethnic violence in Manipur, the Supreme Court’s August 1 pronouncement underscored its deep concern over the deterioration of law and order and the constitutional framework within the state. The court’s firm stance aimed to address the pressing need for stability and justice in the midst of turmoil.

State Police Critique: A Call for Proactive Action

In a significant rebuke, the court directed sharp criticism at the state police, citing a “tardy” and “lethargic” investigation approach, particularly in cases of ethnic violence targeting women. This pointed criticism highlighted the urgency of prompt and thorough investigations to ensure justice for all affected parties. Consequently, the court summoned Manipur’s Director General of Police (DGP) to provide clarity and answers regarding the ongoing crisis.

Central’s Call for CBI Probe: Ensuring Impartiality

Central to the proceedings was the Center’s plea to the bench, advocating the transfer of 11 out of 6,523 First Information Reports (FIRs) associated with violence against women and children in Manipur to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). This proposition aimed to eliminate any perception of bias and enhance the prospects of a fair and impartial investigation, aligning with the court’s commitment to justice.

Court-Monitored Proceedings: Addressing the Aftermath

With the court currently addressing around 10 petitions related to the aftermath of Manipur’s ethnic violence, the proceedings have become a pivotal platform for deliberating comprehensive solutions. Among the matters under consideration are court-monitored investigations and the formulation of rehabilitative measures. The court’s active role signals its determination to provide meaningful remedies and alleviate the distressing repercussions of the crisis.

Administrative Efforts and Mature Handling

In response to the ongoing crisis, Attorney General R Venkataramani and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing both the Central government and the state, presented a comprehensive report. This submission not only addressed the pressing issues but also included the segregation of cases, a measure initially advocated by the Supreme Court. Manipur’s DGP, Rajiv Singh, appeared before the bench, providing insights into the administration’s efforts to manage the ongoing ethnic violence. The proposed establishment of Special Investigation Teams (SITs) at the district level, underlining the state’s commitment, is a step towards a judicious and meticulous inquiry process. The Attorney General’s assertion that the government was adopting a mature approach underscores the collective commitment to navigate the crisis responsibly.

Progressive Step for Change

The Supreme Court’s approach reflects its commitment to a multi-faceted resolution. By combining investigation, rehabilitation, and specialized attention to women’s safety, this initiative aims to bring about meaningful change in the challenging scenario of Manipur’s ethnic violence.

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