Manipur encounters: SC verdict likely on Monday on plea for recusal of judges

Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India, File Photo

New Delhi, Nov 10 (IANS) The Supreme Court is likely to pronounce on Monday its order on a plea by Manipur police personnel seeking the recusal of the judges of the bench for describing as “murderers” some of the personnel chargesheeted in alleged fake encounter cases.

A bench of Justice Madan B.Lokur and Justice U.U. Lalit was asked by the petitioner Manipur Police personnel to recuse from hearing the case as remarks passed by the bench during a hearing were prejudicial to the probe involving them.

The Centre represented by the Attorney General K.K. Venugopal had supported the plea by the petitioners saying that the armed forces face difficult situations in areas like Manipur and have to adopt various methods to deal with the situation at hand.

Venugopal had said the reported remarks of the bench that these security personnel were “murderers” had “completely shaken” the morale of the police and armed forces.

Besides the personnel of Manipur police, the court has also been moved by over 300 serving Army officers and personnel against the dilution of AFSPA that gives immunity to military personnel from prosecution for their actions in disturbed and insurgency-hit areas.

The plea by Army officers and other men in uniform is still pending.

The court has been hearing the main case which was a PIL seeking a probe into as many as 1,528 cases of extra-judicial killings in Manipur.

On July 14, 2017, the apex court set up a Special Investigation Team comprising CBI officers and ordered registration of FIRs and investigation into the alleged extra-judicial killings in Manipur.

The court had ordered the registration of FIRs in 81 cases, including 32 probed by a commission of inquiry, 32 investigated by judicial authorities, 11 in which compensation was awarded

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