The Supreme Court on Thursday, 14 July, dismissed a petition filed by an activist in 2009, which had sought an independent probe into the alleged extra-judicial killing of 17 Adivasis by security forces amid anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh.
A bench comprising AM Khanwilkar and JB Pardiwala also imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on Adivasi rights activist Himanshu Kumar, and asked him to deposit the amount within four weeks, news agency ANI reported.
Kumar's Public Interest Litigation (PIL) had sought a probe into the alleged killings of Adivasis in the state in 2009. In his petition, Kumar had also alleged that security forces had tortured the Adivasis, outraged the modesty of their family members and looted them before allegedly killing them.
Centre Seeks Perjury Proceedings Against Petitioner for 'Misleading' the Court
The Centre, meanwhile, not only opposed Kumar's petition, but also sought perjury proceedings against him and the other petitioners in the case.
The government stated that Kumar must be charged for "misleading" the court for saying that the Adivasis had been killed by security forces, while in reality they had actually died at the hands of Naxals.
In its verdict, the court said that it was leaving the matter to the Chhattisgarh government to decide whether it wanted to act on the Union government's application against the petitioner.
"We leave it to the State of Chhattisgarh to take action. Actions should not be confined only to Section 211 of the IPC. We are not proceeding with perjury, but it is open to State government to include charges like criminal conspiracy etc," the court said.
In February 2010, the Supreme Court had directed a judge in a Delhi court to record the statements of Adivasis, who had joined Kumar as co-petitioners in the case, in the presence of an interpreter. The judge had submitted his report in March of the same year.
(With inputs from ANI.)