The government, buoyed by a favourable verdict from the High Court, had been claiming that everything was done as per the rules and regulations of the university
The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked Manipur government to file a status report on the “recovery of arms made from all the sources” so far in the ethnic-violence hit state.
A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra said, “let a status report be furnished to this court by the government. The report shall be made available only to this court.”
Reiterating that the court was looking at the prevailing situation in Manipur from a humanitarian angle and objectively, the Chief Justice Chandrachud ordered: “Even for disarmament, we are not concerned with if there are illegal arms on one side or the other. We are dealing with this objectively. The State has to take action irrespective of the source where the illegal arms are situated.”
CJI Chandrachud further said, “Investigation of crime, dealing with various aspects of human suffering, recovery of arms, providing compensation, these have to take place across the board, irrespective of who the person genuinely in need is.”
The bench also took note of the affidavit filed by the Manipur Chief Secretary who denied any outbreak of chickenpox or measles in the relief camps and stated that there was no short supply of the essential commodities – food, medicines and other things.
The affidavit described as “false” the submission of the senior advocate appearing for three-judges committee headed by Justice Gita Mittal, in the last hearing, on the possibility of the outbreak of epidemic and non-availability of essential supplies to the people in Manipur gripped in over four-month-old violence.
Aggrieved over the Chief Secretary describing her submissions as “false” and pointing fingers at her, senior advocate Vrinda Grover, offered to recuse as lawyer for the committee, which was later not pressed.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Manipur, also said that there was no shortage of basic commodities like food and medicines for people facing economic blockade in the state and in the relief camps.
The top court also asked the Manipur government to take a call on the unclaimed bodies of those killed in the violence lying in the mortuaries for the past four months saying a decision needs to be made before dead bodies become a source of disease.
“The bodies cannot be forever in the morgue as it can trigger an outbreak,” the CJI told the Manipur government.
The bench further directed the Union Home secretary to communicate with Justice Gita Mittal, the chairperson of the top court appointed three judges committee for finalising names of the experts for helping the committee in its functioning on the ground and to oversee relief and rehabilitation work in Manipur.
The bench directed the state government to nominate an officer with whom the committee can interact for carrying out its work.
The top court is seized of the petitions relating to the violence in Manipur between Meitei and Kuki communities.
The violence in Manipur between the Meiteis and the tribal Kuki, erupted after a rally by the All-Tribal Students Union of Manipur (ATSUM) on May 3. The violence continues unabated.
The Central government has deployed paramilitary forces to bring the situation under control.