‘ARE WE IN A STATE OF WAR?’

Rapping the State Government on the knuckles for the second time in less than 20 days, the Supreme Court today asked, “How can a State Government file an affidavit stating that they are killing ‘us’ and so we are killing ‘them’. Are we in a state of war ?”

Are We In A State Of War? Supreme Court Tongue Lashes State Govt
By a Staff Reporter of The Sangai Express, Nov 24 2012, originally published at http://www.thesangaiexpress.com/tseitm-21325-are-we-in-a-state-of-war-supreme-court-tongue-lashes-state-govt/

Rapping the State Government on the knuckles for the second time in less than 20 days, the Supreme Court today asked, “How can a State Government file an affidavit stating that they are killing ‘us’ and so we are killing ‘them’. Are we in a state of war ?”

The latest tongue lashing comes close on the heels of the “Do it quickly. People are dying out there. File your report by November 19” instructions issued by the Supreme Court on November 5, when the State Government failed to file its response to the PIL filed by the Extrajudicial Execution Victim Families Association, Manipur.

Listed as number 7 in Court number 4 of the Supreme Court, the two Judge bench of the apex Court referred to the section asking the National Human Rights Commission to respond to the cases taken up by them, and questioned the counsel of the State Government, “Are you trying to make the National Human Rights Commission an alibi to all the killings ? ”

Taking serious note of the matter, the Supreme Court asked the Additional Solicitor General of India to be present in the Court.


After the matter was passed over, the Court ordered the Centre and the National Human Rights Commission to file their affidavit and fixed December 4 as the date of the next hearing in the presence of the Additional Solicitor General of India.

The PIL filed by EEVFAM was admitted in the Supreme Court on October 1 this year and the Court had directed the Centre, the State Government as well as the National Human Rights Commission to file their replies by November 5 this year. After the State Government sought more time, the date was extended to November 23.

This was the third time that the matter has come up for hearing in the Supreme Court.

The EEVFAM is a body formed by families whose kith and kins were allegedly executed summarily.

Setting up of a Special Investigation Team to probe the charges of extra-judicial killings, is one of the pleas put up by the EEVFAM.

The members of the proposed SIT are to be drawn from outside the State of Manipur and men and women of proven integrity, EEVFAM had pleaded.

More than 1500 cases of extra-judicial killings is the alleged figure put up by the EEVFAM before the Supreme Court. Senior Advo- cate Colin Gonsalves is appearing on behalf of the petitioners.


Extra-judicial killings: SC slams Manipur over response

This news story was originally published by the Indian Express at http://www.indianexpress.com/news/extrajudicial-killings-sc-slams-manipur-over-response/1035555/0


The Supreme Court on Friday questioned the “orientation” of the Manipur government over extra-judicial killings in the state and reprimanded it for drawing a parallel with the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra, which are already under the court’s scanner over contentious encounters.

“What do you mean when you talk about Maharashtra and Gujarat? Are you saying that since people are getting killed there, so people will get killed in your state too?,” questioned a Bench led by Justice Aftab Alam, expressing its displeasure at the stand by Manipur in its affidavit.

Manipur, in its response to a PIL which alleged 1,528 extra-judicial killings in last 30 years in the state, had requested the court to consider this matter along with two other pending cases relating to encounter killings.

In one case, the SC is adjudicating a plea over 99 encounters in Maharashtra between 1995 and 1997 while in the other, the Gujarat government has filed a writ asking for framing a uniform national policy to independently investigate all the encounter cases in the country and further direct such an agency to probe all encounters in the past 10 years.

The Bench, however, termed Manipur’s affidavit as “strange”. It also expressed displeasure over another submission pointing that militancy, and its difference from ordinary law and order problem, also necessitating a law like the Armed Forces (Special) Powers Act.

“Is there a war going on in your state? Your men killing theirs and their men killing yours? Is this the orientation of the state?,” asked the Bench.

It also disapproved of an attempt to offer National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) as an “alibi” while requesting the court to interfere only if it was of the view that the NHRC, which has already dealt with the instances cited in the PIL, has failed to perform its duty.

Citing 10 specific cases of extra-judicial killings that the PIL described as most glaring, the affidavit read that the state had furnished reports to the NHRC and in none of these, the commission recorded violation of human rights.

“You are using NHRC as an alibi. We cannot allow this,” said the Bench, while calling a senior law officer from the Centre. After an Additional Solicitor General arrived, the Bench, asking him to take this matter “in all seriousness”, said it will hear the matter on December 6 and hence by December 4, the Centre should also file its response to the PIL.



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