The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre, the Manipur government and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to adduce a detailed report on alleged fake encounter deaths in the state, including 62 deaths over the last five years where no FIRs have been lodged.
A bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Uday U Lalit asked the counsel to share the details with each other and hand over to the court a comprehensive report, containing a chart of deaths in encounters and the actions taken thereafter.
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The order was passed after the bench noted that documents put on record by the Centre, state and NHRC were at variance with each other and they required to be collated for the purpose of an effective hearing.
It also asked the petitioner — the Extra Judicial Execution Victims’ Families Association — and the amicus curiae, Menaka Guruswamy, to render assistance in the process.
The court also expressed its displeasure at the laxity on the part of all authorities in taking action in the cases of encounter deaths. “These are not natural deaths then why you are keeping quiet. Don’t you think that this fact itself should have galvanized you,” the court said.
Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, who appeared for the Association, said that not a single FIR has been lodged in 62 cases of encounter deaths in the last five years and in many cases, even the compensation has not been paid.
He complained that the High Court had devised a standardised formula of ordering a compensation of Rs 5 lakh in every such case, irrespective of gravity of the allegations and evidence against the armed forces personnel.
The next hearing in the case will be on August 3. The court said that on the next hearing it will mull the options before it, including handing over the probe to the CBI.