SC constitute women panel of former judges to oversee investigation

Manipur Violence

Manipur Violence: The Supreme Court has constituted a committee of three former female High Court judges to oversee the investigation, relief and remedial measures, compensation, and rehabilitation in Manipur, which has been wracked by ethnic violence for three months. The Supreme Court also nominated Dattatray Padsalgikar, a former Mumbai police commissioner, to head the CBI’s investigation into the 11 FIRs filed by the agency.

The Supreme Court was hearing a slew of cases relating to the Manipur violence, including the case of two tribal women who were displayed naked in May.

The relief effort will be overseen by a panel led by Justice Gita Mittal (former Chief Justice of the J&K High Court), Justice Shalini Phansalar Joshi (former Bombay High Court judge), and Justice Asha Menon (former Delhi High Court judge).

“The committee will have a broad-based function of examining the ongoing probes and suggesting remedial measures, compensation and rehabilitation among other things,” a bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra said.

Committee would not replace the CBI

According to Bar and Bench, the Supreme Court made it clear that the committee would not replace the CBI but is being formed to ensure faith in the rule of law.

“We will not supplant the CBI since it is looking at it…We are not casting aspersion on CBI,” the bench said. The court, however, refused to transfer trial in the cases to a state outside Manipur.

Rajiv Singh, the state DGP, was also present in court after the judge requested his presence during the previous session.

The Supreme Court noted that the Centre has entrusted the CBI with 11 FIRs involving sexual violence. While the court did not object to the transfer of these cases to the CBI, it did order that at least five officers on the CBI team be of the level of Deputy SP or SP and come from different states.

“We are proposing to direct that there shall be five officers of rank at least DySP who will be brought into CBI from various states…to oversee the investigation into these FIRs. These officers will also function within four corners of administrative set up of the CBI and will be supervised by joint director of CBI,” the top court said.

Maharashtra DGP and NIA official Dattatray Padsalgikar to oversee investigation

The CBI investigation will be overseen by former Maharashtra DGP and NIA official Dattatray Padsalgikar, according to the Supreme Court.

“We have identified a former police officer who will head another layer of supervision who will report back to us. The former police officer will be Dattatray Padsalgikar,” the court said.

Separate reports would be submitted to the Supreme Court by the judicial committee and Dattatray Padsalgikar.

Concerning the state’s inquiry, the CJI-led court stated that 42 SITs would look into cases that had not been handed to the CBI.

“These 42 SITs should be supervised by 6 DIG-rank officers from outside the state of Manipur…each officer will oversee 6 SITs,” the SC said.

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