Supreme Court Sets up Oversight Mechanisms to Supervise Violence Mitigation in Manipur
The Court appointed a committee of retired High Court judges and an independent former IPS Officer to oversee multiple issues in Manipur
A three-judge Bench consisting of Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, with Justices J.B. Pardiwala and Manoj Misra put independent oversight mechanisms in place to supervise the investigation and humanitarian crisis in Manipur. This may have been done after the Court expressed concerns that the investigation conducted by the Manipur Police was ‘tardy’ and ‘lethargic’.
Two-tier Scrutiny Over Investigation Conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation
The Court identified 16 First Information Reports (FIRs) that dealt with offences related to women and children for investigation. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta stated that the CBI was already investigating 11 FIRs concerning violence against women and children. The Court directed that five police officers, not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DYSP), belonging to states other than Manipur be brought within the CBI to oversee the investigation process. These officers will be appointed by the Director General of Police of that state.
Further, the Court added ‘one more layer of scrutiny’ and appointed former Indian Police Service Officer, Mr. Dattatray Padsalgikar to oversee the investigation process of the CBI. The Court described Mr. Dattatray as a ‘very distinguished and highly decorated officer’ with ‘wide experience’. Mr. Dattaray will report directly to the Supreme Court.
Supervision of Investigation Conducted by the Manipur Police
The Manipur Government submitted a report today stating that it has formed 42 Special Investigation Teams (SITs) to look into 6,523 FIRs. The Court held that an officer at the level of an inspector, hailing from a different state, would be a part of these SITs.
Moreover, the Court observed that six officers, holding the position of Director General of Police, would be designated to oversee the investigation conducted by these SITs. Each officer will oversee six SITs. These officers will be appointed from the same states as the DYSPs appointed for the CBI.
Three-Member Committee Will Oversee ‘Diverse Aspects’ of the Manipur Violence
The Supreme Court constituted a three-member committee of retired High Court judges to supervise ‘diverse aspects of a humanitarian nature’ in Manipur. These aspects will include everything other than the ongoing criminal investigations. Specifically, the Committee will look into relief measures, rehabilitation, compensation, relief camps, and restoration of homes and religious sites. The Committee will be headed by Justice Gita Mital from the Jammu & Kashmir High Court, with Justice Shalini Joshi from the High Court of Bombay, and Justice Asha Menon from the Delhi High Court.