The Centre on Monday told the Supreme Court that parents of a youth, who was killed in a road rage in 2011 in Manipur involving the son of Chief Minister N Biren Singh, will be provided security by the state government. The state government also informed the apex court that the parents of victim Irom Roger would be provided round-the-clock security by Manipur Rifles at their residences.
Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh told the vacation bench of Justice Deepak Gupta that an affidavit has been filed by the state government stating that orders have already been issued to provide round the clock security to Irom Chitra Devi and Irom Lokendra Singh. He said even advocate Utsav Bains, who is pursuing the case in Manipur High Court on behalf of the victim’s parents, will also be provided security if he visits Imphal in connection with the case and added that on June 3, an order in this regard was issued by the Inspector General of Police.
In an affidavit filed before the apex court, Manipur Chief Secretary O Nabakishore Singh denied the allegation that at the instance of the chief minister, the administration including police were obstructing the Iroms from approaching the high court to challenge the conviction of Ajay Meetai for lesser offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The ASG also said that the five allegations, including that the chief minister was abusing his official positions to obstruct the parents from approaching court, have been found to be false.
The Manipur Chief Secretary in his affidavit said that the allegations levelled that administration was acting in “high-handed and arbitrary manner” was meant “solely to malign” the chief minister. On May 29, the apex court asked the Centre to consider giving security cover to the parents of the youth. The Manipur government had told the court that it does not have any problem in providing security to the parents of the youth who have alleged that they feared for their lives.
Meetai, son of the chief minister, has been awarded a five-year jail term under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC for firing at Roger on March 20, 2011, and killing him. The incident had occurred after Roger had allegedly not allowed Meetai to overtake him in his SUV which had irked the chief minister’s son. Advocate Kamini Jaiswal, appearing, for Roger’s parents of victim had earlier said that no one from Manipur has dared to file an appeal in the high court against the five-year jail term awarded to Meetai. She had alleged that advocate Utsav Bains has also received threats from Ultra groups after he started pursuing the case. The apex court had on May 22 sought response from the Centre and the state on the plea of parents of youth who also alleged that they are being threatened and family members are being allegedly implicated in cases.
The apex court had not issued any notice to the chief minister and others in the case as sought. The parents have sought directions “to provide security for the safety of the life and liberty of petitioners and their family members against any kind of threat and victimisation for their peaceful stay throughout India.” They have also sought a direction for an independent probe by a central agency on the ground that the state police was working at the behest of the convict.
“In January, the petitioners (parents) approached several lawyers in the high court of Manipur at Imphal, to file an appeal against the judgement of the sessions judge, Imphal (West), but all the lawyers they approached, refused to represent them due to the influence and clout of the Respondent No 3 (CM), more so, in view of the fact that nobody could dare to stand-up against the chief minister, home minister of the State,” the plea said. The petition referred to the fact that the convict, who was sentenced to five-year-jail term in 2011, is still serving the imprisonment which proves that he has been out of jail for a considerable period during the trial.