Manipur video case: SC calls for mechanism to deal with violence against women in state
The Supreme Court on Monday called for evolving a broad mechanism to deal with violence against women in strife-torn Manipur and decided to hear all the cases of violence on women in the northeastern state together. The court noted the violence in Manipur against women was not just about one case but many such incidents that have taken place. Hence Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud asked for hearing the petitioners first followed by the Attorney General (AG) and Solicitor General (SG) making their submissions.
“We also have to make a mechanism to see the broader issue of violence against women. This mechanism should ensure that all such cases are taken care of. This video came to light which led us to ask you AG (R Venkataramani) and SG to assist us. But this video is not the only assault on women. Number of other such incidents...so this is not an isolated incident. We don't have facts and evidentiary records yet so we'll hear what they (petitioners) have to say broadly and then hear the AG and SG,” said Chief Justice Chandrachud.
Advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the aggrieved women, said that the police were also with the mob who took the victims into captivity and then paraded them naked. He further stated the requirement of an independent agency to probe the incidents and suggested the probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT). SG Tushar Mehta concurred and said, “Government of India has no objection if the SC monitors the probe.”
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told a bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud that the Union of India has no objection if the apex court monitors the investigation into the Manipur violence.
The apex court on July 20 observed that it was "deeply disturbed" by the video of two women being paraded naked in strife-torn Manipur saying that using women as instruments for perpetrating violence is "simply unacceptable in a constitutional democracy".
Taking cognisance of the video, a bench headed by the CJI directed the Centre and the Manipur government to take immediate remedial, rehabilitative and preventive steps and apprise it of the action taken.
On July 27, the Centre informed the top court that it has transferred to the CBI the probe into a case related to two women being paraded naked in strife-torn Manipur, saying the government has "zero tolerance towards any crimes against women."
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), in an affidavit filed through its Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, also urged the top court to transfer the trial outside Manipur in the case for the conclusion of the trial in a time-bound manner. Seven people have been arrested in the case so far.
With inputs from agencies