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'Police Incapable of Investigation': SC Pulls Up Authorities Over Manipur Crisis

The top court noted that arrests made were very low despite there being over 6,000 first information reports (FIRs).

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The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, 1 August, while hearing cases related to the Manipur crisis pulled up the state police for their lack of action while controlling the situation in the state.

"State police is incapable of investigation. Absolutely.. There is no law and order left at all," CJI Chandrachud remarked, according to Bar and Bench.

The top court also noted that the number of arrests were very low despite there being over 6,000 first information reports (FIRs).

"The investigation is so lethargic. No arrests made. Statements being recorded after such lapse of time. this gives an impression that there was no law and breakdown of constitutional machinery. May be it is correct that arrest could not be made because police could not enter the locality.. but even then there was complete breakdown of law and order," the CJI further said.

The petitions: A bench comprising, Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, was hearing multiple pleas related to the outbreak of violence in Manipur, including the one filed by two Kuki women who were subjected to naked parading and molestation by a mob of men.

In the Courtroom: Earlier in the day, the top court had orally asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to not take statements of the Kuki women in the video.

The court, according to LiveLaw told the Solicitor General, "Mr SG, just ask them to wait, we're going to take it at 2 pm today."

SC's strong remarks: Over the course of the hearing, which happened yesterday (31 July) as well,   the court pulled up Advocate Bansuri Swaraj, who had filed a plea to consider cases from West Bengal and Chhattisgarh where women were also mistreated by mobs.

 "We are dealing with something on unprecedented magnitude of violence against women in communal and sectarian violence. It cannot be gainsaid that crimes are happening against woman and in Bengal also. But here the case is different. We cannot justify what happened in Manipur by saying that this and this happened elsewhere,CJI Chandrachud had said, according to Bar and Bench.

To know more about what else the top court said about Manipur, read this.

While the petitioners had sought an SIT probe into the sexual violence against them, the court did not immediately pass an order and contemplated forming a committee to look into the case.

"We need objective assistance. One thing we can do is to have a committee of woman judges and domain experts or to have a committee of woman and male judges. If we are not satisfied with what has been done so far that will define the extent of our intervention," the Court said, according to Bar and Bench.

Previously: The top court had taken suo motu cognisance of a disturbing video that emerged online, showing two Manipuri women from the Kuki tribe being paraded naked and molested. CJI DY had Chandrachud expressed deep concern over the incident and assured that the court would intervene if the government failed to act.

Meanwhile, the centre on 27 July had told the top court that the CBI would be probing the case and requested that the trial be shifted outside Manipur.

(With inputs from Bar and Bench, LiveLaw)

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Topics:  Manipur horror 

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