Manipur: Judicial Panel Submits Report To SC, Urges More Victim Compensation

The committee has presented 3 reports to the top court, outlining its findings on the violence.

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The three-member committee, established to ensure justice for the victims of conflict in Manipur, has proposed an increase in compensation for those affected by the violence.

Chaired by former Chief Justice of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court, Justice Gita Mittal, the committee has presented three reports to the Supreme Court outlining its findings on the violence.

In the courtroom: Upon reviewing the reports, a Bench comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra said, according to Bar and Bench:

"The reports submitted by Justice Mittal led committee shows essential documents need to be reissued, the victim compensation scheme needs an upgrade and a nodal administration expert be appointed."

What the reports say: The reports emphasised the loss of vital documents by individuals who lost their homes during the Manipur violence. The committee called for the appointment of a nodal officer responsible for aiding the recovery of lost documents, including crucial identification records like Aadhaar cards.

Another concern raised in the reports pertained to the victim compensation scheme. The committee suggested enhancements to the compensation framework. The existing scheme's provision, which excludes victims benefiting from other schemes, was brought to attention.

The reports also underscored the necessity of an expert in nodal administration to streamline the administrative processes associated with the case proceedings.

SC Responds: The Court has directed that the committee's reports be shared with all advocates-on-record representing the petitioners. Additionally, the Court recognised the need for certain procedural directions to offer administrative support, allocate finances to the committee, and publicise its work.

What next? Advocate Vrinda Grover was entrusted with the responsibility of compiling the required directions and conveying them to the Manipur Advocate General by 24 August , 10 PM. The case will be revisited on 25 August.

Some context: Earlier this month, the Supreme Court formed an all-women judicial committee, headed by Justice Mittal, to scrutinise the ongoing investigation efforts aimed at securing justice for the victims of the violence in the state.

Among other responsibilities, the committee was tasked with evaluating the ongoing probes and proposing measures for remediation, compensation, and rehabilitation.

The Court, in its order, enumerated the reasons for its intervention:

a. Substantial delays between the occurrence of grave incidents, including murder, rape, and arson, and the registration of zero FIRs;

b. Prolonged delays in forwarding the zero FIRs to the appropriate police stations with jurisdiction over the incidents;

c. Delayed conversion of zero FIRs into regular FIRs by the jurisdictional police stations;

d. Sluggishness in recording witness statements;

e. Insufficient diligence in recording statements under Section 161.

The Bench was handling a series of pleas relating to the violence in Manipur, including a plea from two women of the Kuki community who were publicly disrobed and assaulted by a group of men.

In response, the Central government had ordered a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the matter.

Meanwhile, the women sought a Special Investigation Team (SIT) inquiry into the incident from the apex court.

During the hearing on 1 August, the Court admonished the authorities and State Police for apparent lapses in controlling the deteriorating law and order situation in Manipur.

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Topics:  manipur 

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