'Very early' to seek status report from CBI on Manipur violence, says SC

    The Hawk
    September22/ 2023
    Last Updated:

    New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday said that it will be “very early” to ask former Maharashtra DGP Dattatray Padsalgikar to submit a report as to the status of CBI investigation into cases of sexual violence against women and children committed during sectarian violence and strife in Manipur.

    Padsalgikar was appointed by the top court on August 7 to supervise the investigation into the 11 FIRs, including the viral video of two young tribal women paraded naked after being raped, which were referred to the central probe agency by the state government.

    The court had granted Padsalgikar a period of two months to submit a report elaborating on the progress which has been made.

    During the hearing, senior advocate Indira Jaising said that there is no update on CBI investigation so far in relation to the cases transferred by the Manipur government.

    "CBI has not filed any update on the investigations. Whereas the (Judges) Committee has been sending updates, there is no update on CBI investigations so far on 11 cases transferred to them," Jaising told the bench, headed by CJI D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising Justices J.B. Pardiwala and Manoj Misra.

    At this, the bench remarked that the Padsalgikar himself went to Manipur and is a "seasoned" officer from Maharashtra Police who has served "extensively in the northeast".

    The bench added: "Allow a little bit of time to the officer to take charge, monitor the situation and then we may ask for a status report."

    Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Manipur government, said that the apex court "purposefully" did not choose to monitor the investigation on a day to day basis and apprehended that if a report is filed by the CBI, "everyone will start to monitor the investigation".

    "Let the officer appointed by your lordships supervise, we do not have any objection," he added.

    Further, SG Mehta also submitted a status report on recovery of arms from "all sources" pursuant to an earlier order passed by the top court on September 6.

    The matter is likely to be taken up for hearing on Monday.

    In its judgement delivered on August 7, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre and Manipur government to formulate and implement a plan to recover any missing arms which were allegedly looted during sectarian violence and strife in the northeastern state.