New Delhi, Sep 28 : The Supreme Court on Friday reserved its order on a plea filed by 300 serving Army officers asking the bench which has been hearing alleged extra-judicial killings in Manipur to recuse from hearing the case.
A bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice U.U. Lalit was asked by Army officers and Manipur Police to recuse itself from hearing the case as remarks passed by the bench during one of the hearings were prejudicial to the probe and affected the morale of the armed forces.
Attorney General K.K. Venugopal told the bench that the Centre supports the armed forces who face difficult situations in areas like Manipur and have to adopt various methods.
Venugopal said the reported remarks of the bench that these officers were “murderers” had affected the morale of police and armed forces.
The separate plea was filed by over 300 serving Army officers against the dilution of AFSPA that gives immunity to military personnel from prosecution for their actions in disturbed and insurgency-hit areas.
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 the SIT 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 and six probed by a commission headed by former Supreme Court judge Santosh Hegde.