GUWAHATI: The Supreme Court came down heavily on the police for delaying the filing of victims’ FIRs in the Manipur viral video case, on July 31. The bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud, also pulled up the Union and the state government over the continuing violence in the Northeastern state that touched the 57-day mark on Monday.
“Why was the incident of May 4 only registered as a zero FIR on May 18? Why was a period of 14 days taken by the police to register the FIR?” asked the bench that also includes Justice J B Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra. The three-member bench is hearing a slew of petitions concerning the violence in the state.
“What stood in the way of police registering the FIR immediately on the 4th of May?” the CJI asked Solicitor General of India, Tushar Mehta, who was representing the state government.
The CJI also made it clear to the Union government that it cannot “justify” what is happening in Manipur by saying that similar crimes have occurred in Bengal, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. The judges noted that the court was confronted with an “unprecedented magnitude” of events in Manipur, occurring amid “communal and sectarian strife.”
The CJI remarked that this situation varies from Nirbhaya’s case, although both are equally horrific, with Nirbhaya’s incident being isolated. He also added that there is a need of a healing touch in Manipur.
Meanwhile, in Thoubal, Manipur, a Special Judge has granted the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) custody of four accused in the Manipur viral video case. The custody of the four accused – Huirem Herodash Meitei (32), Arun Khundongbam (29), Yumlembam Jiban Singh (18), and Ningombam Tomba Singh – was transferred to the CBI till August 2. The remaining three accused are expected to be brought before the Special Judge Thoubal in the next 2-3 days.