SC trashes Govt’s plea to recall verdict on probe into fake encounters in Manipur

In 2016, a bench led by Justice Madan B Lokur had decided to to probe 1,528 cases of alleged fake encounters by security forces and Manipur Police.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | Updated: April 27, 2017 8:21 pm
manipur, manipur army, supreme court, sc, fake encounters in Manipur, manipur fake encounters, latest news Raising questions on deployment of security forces in Manipur under the AFSPA since 1958, the court had urged all the stakeholders “to find a lasting and peaceful solution to the festering problem”.

In a setback to the Central government, the Supreme Court has dismissed its plea to recall 2016 verdict on conducting a probe into 1,528 cases of alleged fake encounters in Manipur in the last 20 years. On Wednesday, a five-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar rejected the curative petition moved by the government, which had complained that the court judgment has “hampered the Indian Army’s ability to respond to insurgent and terrorist situations”.

“We have gone through the curative petition and the relevant documents. In our opinion, no case is made out within the parameters indicated in the decision of this Court in Rupa Ashok Hurra’s case. Hence, the curative petition is dismissed,” said the bench, also comprising Justices Dipak Misra, J Chelameswar, Madan B Lokur and Uday U Lalit.

The bench also junked the government’s plea to hear the matter in open court instead of deciding it in chamber – the usual manner in which review and curative petitions are decided. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had a fortnight ago mentioned the matter before the CJI and sought a hearing in open court of the curative petition filed by the government.

Pressing for urgency, the AG had maintained that the fetters imposed by the verdict was affecting anti-terror and anti-insurgency operations by the Army, which would bring the morale of the forces down if they were subjected to investigation by local police after every incident.

In 2016, a bench led by Justice Madan B Lokur had decided to to probe 1,528 cases of alleged fake encounters by security forces and Manipur Police, noting “democracy would be in grave danger” if armed forces were permitted to kill citizens on a mere allegation or suspicion that they were enemies of the state. It had added that “smoking guns” must come under judicial scrutiny to examine if excessive or retaliatory force was used by security forces.

Underlining that “no absolute immunity” would be given to armed forces personnel if any death was found to be “unjustified”, the bench had held that “the use of excessive force or retaliatory force by Manipur Police or the armed forces of the Union is not permissible” and all such instances must be thoroughly investigated.

Raising questions on deployment of security forces in Manipur under the AFSPA since 1958, the court had urged all the stakeholders “to find a lasting and peaceful solution to the festering problem”. The bench had rejected the central government’s submission that there is a war-like situation in the state and that an inquiry may demoralise the security forces, in turn helping the militants, terrorists and insurgents.

Seeking recall of this judgment, the government has now claimed that the immediate effect of the impugned judgment is that it has hampered the Army’s ability to respond to insurgent and terrorist situations attributable to the actors within the boundaries of the country.

The plea said that “action taken by Army during operations cannot be put to judicial scrutiny” while adding that “to apply principle of judicial review over action which has taken place in the last two or three decades is detrimental to the morale of the Armed Forces”.

“The findings and conclusions set out in the judgment have far reaching ramifications on the security and integrity of the territory of India especially in parts of India that are plagued with constant militant and insurgency activities. The Indian Army has to, in given circumstances, take quick decisions which cannot be dissected later on like an appeal against the ordinary murder appeal,” stated the petition.

The government said that “human rights and respect for the life of a human being are kept at the highest pedestal” as reflected by the data showing only 10 per cent of insurgents died in the Army operations between 1990 and 2015.

The petition further stated: “The judicial review of military operations will have damaging consequences for operational effectiveness and may erode the fighting power. This in turn could have catastrophic consequences for sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the nation.”

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  1. G
    Gogi
    Apr 28, 2017 at 5:00 am
    He he Before Supreme Court or HC, I.E. gave verdict already that it was fake He he, that's the problem I.E. publishes more of opinion (of course biased leftist opinion) than news.. shame on it
    Reply
    1. R
      rajan
      Apr 28, 2017 at 3:25 am
      Only judiciary has the capacity to keep the government on leash. Modi regime, in particular, has tendencies of the infamous government when it comes to dealing with non-hindus. He belongs to RSS School of thought which is anti-Islam&anti-Christians. How can one afford to have such an obsolete outfit at the helm which didn't have tolerance even for G_an_dhi's secular outlook. Good that the judiciary has reined in this government which has all the makings of a dictatorship, more so as it feels emboldened by it's recent electoral successes. Human rights can't be jeopardized by raising the bogey of national interests
      Reply
      1. Z
        Zina
        Apr 28, 2017 at 11:37 am
        P u k i o t ramble
        Reply
      2. S
        Shailesh Shah
        Apr 28, 2017 at 1:59 am
        With respect to judgement of Supreme court, I want to add that without armed forces intervention can India keep Manipur with India.Or Court wanted​ to create fate of Manipur as Tibet. The armed forces position in Kashmir is known to all.The antisocial elements harrase people and forces however they keep use of minimum power to protect safety of people and self.Does any supreme court judge have taken cognizance of it.Every body wants peace at the cost of armed forces.Only antisocial have human rights in our Country.
        Reply
        1. E
          Eager.lickspittle
          Apr 28, 2017 at 2:55 am
          @Shailesh: Why Manipur should be under Indiots' rule. Is that your and g father' property? Just because the region was under British rule like rest of South Asia and just because those people fought along with Indiots to drive British away doesn't mean Indiots have rights in Manipur and more so the rights to m acre them. If that is the case then why don't you have the balls to claim Burma, stan, Nepal, Ceylon as belonging to India? Is it because Ceylon did not fight against the British along with Indiots that you don't claim? Does that mean other regions of South South Asia like Kerala, TN. AP, Karnataka shouldn't have parti ted with Indiots to drive British away? By human logic then those countries should be independent now. I can't expect logic from an Aryan animals like you though. First stop using your filthy caste name. That shows how civil are you HINDIOTS!
          Reply
          1. Z
            Zina
            Apr 28, 2017 at 11:36 am
            P u k i o t ramble
        2. G
          g
          Apr 28, 2017 at 1:08 am
          Let the court execute this then. They have their own collegium which is in violation of the Cons ution. Now, they want the legislative and security branch of the government to do the courts work. If the courts put themselves above the cons ution and legislature, then the legislature can give them a bit of their own medicine.
          Reply
          1. N
            Naren
            Apr 27, 2017 at 11:51 pm
            "The court judgment has 'hampered the Indian Army’s ability to respond to insurgent and terrorist situations'......."- Open contempt of court. If govt. can't protect citizens then why do we need the Govt.?
            Reply
            1. G
              g
              Apr 28, 2017 at 1:12 am
              There is no need for the courts either. They have their own collegium which is in violation of the Cons ution.
              Reply
            2. A
              anonymous
              Apr 27, 2017 at 11:30 pm
              Atrocious behavior of the Govt is thwarted by this ruling. The only hope for justice to prevail and civility to thrive is the SC. This ruling shows that the Govt's unchecked fake stance can be reined in and jungle raj averted. This will bring in some kind of confidence in the rule of law in Manipur.
              Reply
              1. E
                Eager.lickspittle
                Apr 27, 2017 at 11:18 pm
                Now I am getting better at trusting SC!
                Reply
                1. I
                  Ilamparuthi
                  Apr 27, 2017 at 11:15 pm
                  Arya-brahmin piglets think they own the rights of all humans, not just inside India but outside too. No wonder Srinivas Kuchibotla was made to know his karma.
                  Reply
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