SC sets up committee to probe Manipur violence, includes three former women judges

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday announced the setting up of a committee of three former women judges of various high courts to oversee the relief and rehabilitation work for those affected by the Manipur violence. A bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud said Gita Mittal, former chief justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, would be the chairperson of the three-member committee.

The bench said Justice (retd) Shalini P Joshi and Justice (retd) Asha Menon would be the other two members of the committee. The bench also comprised Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Mishra. The bench said that the endeavor of the apex court is to restore the sense of faith in the rule of law in the state. He said the judicial committee would oversee the relief and rehabilitation works, among other things.

The top court said that apart from this, senior police officers will be asked to monitor the criminal cases which will be investigated by the state SIT. The bench said the detailed order in the matter would be uploaded on the website of the apex court in the evening.

The committee of three former judges will be headed by Justice Gita Mittal and will also include Justice Shalini Joshi, and Justice Asha Menon.

Manipur Director General of Police Rajeev Singh appeared before the bench to answer questions regarding caste violence and steps taken by the administration to deal with it and segregation of cases for the purpose of effective investigation. Attorney General R Venkataramani and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Center and the state government, submitted the report sought by the apex court on August 1 on various issues, including the separation of cases.

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The Attorney General told the bench, “The government is dealing with the situation in a very mature manner. He said that the state government has proposed to set up SITs headed by Superintendents of Police at the district level to investigate sensitive cases and besides this, 11 cases will be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Earlier, expressing displeasure over the situation in Manipur, the Supreme Court had said on August 1 that the law and order and constitutional machinery had completely collapsed there. The top court had pulled up the state police for its “slow and very lax” investigation into incidents of caste violence, especially crimes targeting women, and summoned the DGP to answer its questions.

The Center had urged the bench that instead of two FIRs related to videos of women being sexually assaulted by mobs, 11 cases related to violence against women and children out of 6,523 FIRs be transferred to the CBI and the trial be conducted outside Manipur. Go The bench is hearing around 10 petitions related to the violence.