New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday called for an investigation into the alleged 1528 judicial killings by the Army and other security forces in Manipur.
The Apex Court also said that the Army can conduct its own inquiries into accusations of these extra judicial killing till the court examines.
The petitioners have alleged the security forces escaped action because they operated under the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.
The law makes it mandatory for the local police to take Centre’s permission before initiating prosecution against erring security personnel.
Meanwhile the court also agreed to examine National Human Right Commission’s complaint that it has become a ‘toothless tiger’ and it needs more powers.
Advocate Menaka Guru, who assisted the bench, argued strongly in favour of the petitioners – human rights organisations – and referred to a court-appointed panel in support of her arguments.
The committee, set up by the court in 2013, probed six such encounters in which seven people were killed.
In its preliminary findings, the panel said all the six encounters were stage-managed.
Guru said since most of the encounters had taken place several years ago, court martial proceedings could not be conducted in these cases.
Section 125 of the Army Act has fixed a limitation period of three years, beyond which a cases becomes time-barred and no prosecution can be initiated.
Earlier, the Centre defended the killings, arguing they were “part of the sovereign function discharged by the Union of India through the army”.
The security forces and the Centre have been asserting that the encounters were genuine and the security personnel allegedly involved can’t be prosecuted.
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