Manipur fake encounter cases: One more chargesheet filed says CBI to SC; bench to hear matter on 4 September

New Delhi: The CBI's Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Monday told the Supreme Court that it had filed another chargesheet in connection with the alleged fake encounters by the Army, Assam Rifles and police in Manipur.

On 30 July, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) informed the apex court that it had filed two chargesheets before the competent court in connection with the cases. During the brief hearing today, a bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and UU Lalit asked the SIT to file its next status report in the alleged fake encounter cases by 1 September.

Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

The bench said that it would hear the matter on 4 September, along with a separate petition filed by over 300 Army personnel who have challenged the registration of FIRs against members of the armed forces for carrying out operations in Manipur and Jammu and Kashmir where the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) is in force.

At the outset, the bench perused the status report filed by the SIT and observed, "one more chargesheet appears to have been filed". "That's right," Attorney General KK Venugopal told the bench and said that a chargesheet has been filed in the case by the probe agency. To this, the bench said that another case "is coming up for hearing on 4 September. We will take it up on 4 September".

The bench also said that CBI director Alok Kumar Verma, who was present in the court, need not come on the next date of hearing. An advocate, assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the matter, referred to a media report and said that after the last date of hearing on 30 July, the CBI spokesperson had issued a statement in which he had said that the SIT had not received relevant documents related to the cases from the armed forces.

"There is some disconnect in getting the documents. It is not clear as to how many FIRs are there against the armed forces," the amicus said, adding that "cooperation is needed as far as handing over of documents are concerned". The Attorney General told the court that originally there were some issues regarding handing over of documents but now the CBI director has said that all the relevant documents have been received by the SIT.

The court had on 30 July said that the matter involved the issue of "life and death" of people and asked the CBI's SIT to expeditiously complete its investigation into these cases. The CBI had informed the court that 14 persons have been chargesheeted in the first two cases for the alleged offences of murder, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence under the provisions of Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The CBI director was earlier summoned by the apex court which was unhappy over the "unduly long time" taken by the SIT in probing the cases of alleged extra-judicial killings and fake encounters in Manipur. The court, which is hearing a PIL seeking a probe into as many as 1,528 cases of alleged extra-judicial killings in Manipur, had on 14 July last year constituted the SIT.

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Updated Date: Aug 20, 2018 15:47:20 IST

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