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Manipur fake encounters: SC not satisfied with CBI team’s probe

Saying that something was “terribly wrong”, the Supreme Court Monday expressed that it was “not satisfied” with the progress made by the Central Bureau of Investigation’s  Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the ongoing investigation into alleged extra-judicial killings and fake encounters by the Army, Assam Rifles and Manipur police, reported Press Trust of India.

A bench of the top court, comprising Justices M B Lokur and U U Lalit, made the remark after the SIT apprised it that 42 cases have so far been registered on such killings.

The apex court also directed the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to depute three persons to associate with the SIT to carry out the investigation in 17 out of the 42 cases. “We are not satisfied by the progress made by the SIT,” the bench said.

“We make it clear that the association of the NHRC is for the time being in respect of these 17 cases,” it added.

The top court also found that the status report filed by the SIT did not appear to have the approval of the CBI’s Director thereby directing to make it clear that the next status report of the SIT must have the approval of the CBI chief.

On July 14, 2017, the top court had set up an SIT comprising five CBI officers and ordered it to register FIRs and investigate 1,528 cases of alleged fake encounters and extrajudicial killings in Manipur. It had asked the CBI to complete the investigation by December 31, 2017.

In January, the bench of justices Madan Lokur and UU Lalit had pulled up the CBI team for not registering First Information Reports in 81 cases, as the bench had ordered it in July 2017. The court had asked the investigating team to complete investigations in 12 cases with FIRs before February 28.

Of the 81 cases, 32 cases are probed by a Commission of Enquiry, 32 cases are investigated by judicial inquiries and high courts, the National Human Rights Commission has awarded compensation in 11 cases, while a commission headed by former Supreme Court Justice Santosh Hegde is probing six cases, PTI reported.

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