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SCOI Report: Amicus Guruswamy, in fake encounter case, proposes SIT to probe mysterious Manipur killings

Encounter killings: Not cool (just like Salman, these days)
Encounter killings: Not cool (just like Salman, these days)

In the Extra-Judicial Execution of Victim Families Association vs Union of India, which came up before the bench of justices Madan B Lokur and UU Lalit at Court 9 on Monday at 2.30 p.m., the amicus curiae, Menaka Guruswamy, proposed the setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the six fake encounters involving seven victims in Manipur, as a result of action by the security forces.

All six encounters have been found to be not genuine in the report submitted by the Santosh Hegde Commission appointed by the Supreme Court in 2013.

The hearing which lasted till 3.15 p.m. saw Guruswamy submitting a few significant propositions, as requested by the bench, in yellow sheets, inviting due compliments from the bench for being methodical in her presentation. The propositions were circulated to all the parties to the case.

In her propositions, which she prepared after researching the information made available to her, Guruswamy has suggested mandatory initiation of prosecution in all such cases of fake encounters, and after citing a number of recent precedents in which the Supreme Court approved setting up of Special Investigation Team, she said this is indeed a fit case for a Court-appointed SIT probe.

Both senior advocate V Giri and ASG, Tushar Mehta who appeared for the respondents, sought time to respond to the propositions. They were prima facie of the view that SIT was not the correct response to this matter, but wanted time to submit their reasons for the same.

Senior counsel Colin Gonsalves appeared for the petitioner.

Considering the gravity of the allegations against the state police and the security forces, and the complexity of the case, the bench has decided to allot two full days, 28 October and 29 for hearing all the parties to the case, and has refused to concede any request for adjournments, in the mean time.

The bench made it clear that any documents or written submissions must be filed by 26 October.

During the previous hearing, the AC had submitted a chart to the bench showing her analysis of discrepancies in the responses from parties to the case to the 61 cases of alleged fake encounters between security forces including the state police and civilians in Manipur.

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