The Supreme Court on Monday was of the view that National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) should be “actively involved” in investigation into the alleged extra-judicial killings and staged gunfights by the army, Assam Rifles and police in Manipur.
A bench of Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice U.U. Lalit said NHRC has the power to investigate the matter suo motu and asked the investigating team whether they could share the status reports with apex human rights body.
“NHRC has the power to suo motu investigate a matter. Our last order indicates that the NHRC should be active in it. Two things we are contemplating.
The NHRC should be actively involved in the investigation. Second is the issue of filing of four final reports. You (probe agency) can share the information you have with the NHRC, like your draft final report. Let NHRC also independently applies its mind and get back to us,” said the bench.
Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, appearing for the CBI’s Special Investigation Team (SIT), told the court that he needs take instructions on the issue and apprise the bench on Thursday.
He said the investigating team has to see that NHRC should not be like a supervisory authority over the SIT and whether the four final reports (filed by it) and are under scrutiny, can be shared with NHRC and at what stage.
“The problem is that they (NHRC) should not be like a supervisory authority over us. Secondly, whether these four final reports, which are under scrutiny, can be shared with them now or at what stage it could be shared?” ASG said.
The court was hearing a PIL seeking a probe into as many as 1,528 cases of extra-judicial killings in Manipur.
On July 14, 2017, the apex court set up the SIT comprising five Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officers and ordered registration of FIRs and investigation into the alleged extra-judicial killings in Manipur.
The court had ordered the registration of FIRs in 81 cases including 32 probed by a Commission of Inquiry, 32 investigated by judicial authorities, 11 in which compensation was awarded and six probed by the commission headed by former Supreme Court judge Santosh Hegde.