Manipur Violence: SC Directs Trial of CBI Cases in Guwahati

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NEW DELHI – Supreme Court on Friday asked the Chief Justice of Gauhati High to designate courts in Assam’s Guwahati to conduct trials in cases which were transferred to CBI by the Manipur government as they involved sexual violence against women and children.

A bench comprising of CJI DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra said that victims and witnesses in Manipur may get their statements recorded with these courts in Assam, through video conferencing.

The bench also allowed that applications pertaining to production of accused, remand, judicial custody, extension of custody, etc. may be conducted in online mode.

It directed that statements under Section 164 CrPC will be recorded in presence of a local magistrate in Manipur, while adding that applications seeking search and arrest warrants could be made by investigating agency through virtual mode.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta suggested that the Supreme Court may order transfer of the CBI cases including trial to any neighbouring state outside the State of Manipur. 

Investigation were transferred to CBI in relation to the disturbing incident where two young tribal women were paraded naked in Manipur along with other similar cases involving sexual violence against women and children after Supreme Court took suo moto cognisance of the viral videos on July 20.

Through an affidavit, the Union Government had then requested the top court to order transfer of the entire case including trial to any state outside the State of Manipur. Also, it had sought a direction that the trial be concluded within a period of six months from the date of the filing of chargesheet by the CBI.

Supreme Court had set up a committee comprising three woman judges tasking it with collecting information related to violence against women in Manipur as well as monitoring the conditions at relief camps and deciding on compensation to victims.

It had also appointed former Maharashtra DGP Dattatray Padsalgikar to investigate the allegations that certain police officers colluded with perpetrators of violence, including sexual violence, during the conflict in Manipur.

Padsalgikar will supervise the CBI investigation into the FIRs transferred to the central probe agency. He was also directed to supervise the investigation into the remaining FIRs registered by the Manipur police. -IANS

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