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SC for collating information on 1,528 encounters

By The Assam Tribune

NEW DELHI, July 9 - The Supreme Court has said it has not received accurate and complete information on each of the 1,528 cases that has been alleged as fake encounters by the petitioners from Manipur and there is need to collate the information to give any final direction.

It said that Amicus Curiae appointed in the case to assist the court had informed that there are 15 cases out of 62 in which it has been held by Justice Hegde Commission or by judicial inquiries conducted at the instance of the Gauhati High Court that the encounters were fake, the apex court observed yesterday.

It further said the NHRC has informed that there are 31 cases out of 62 in which it has been concluded that the encounters were not genuine and compensation awarded to the next of kin of the victims or the award of compensation is pending.

�Of the 62 cases that the petitioners have documented, their representative and the Amicus will prepare a simple tabular statement indicating whether in each case a judicial enquiry or an inquiry by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) or an inquiry under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952 has been held and the result of the inquiry and whether any First Information Report or complaint or petition has been filed by the next of kin of the deceased,� it directed.

The bench made it clear that since a Magisterial Enquiry is not a judicial inquiry and, it is not possible to attach any importance to such enquiries, the tabular statement will not include Magisterial Enquiries.

�The representative of the petitioners and the Amicus will revisit the remaining cases (1,528 minus 62) and carry out an identical exercise as above. This exercise is required to be conducted for eliminating those cases in which there is no information about the identity of the victim or the place of occurrence or any other relevant detail and then present an accurate and faithful chart of cases in a simple tabular form,� the bench said.

It, however, said the grievance of the NHRC that it has become a toothless tiger, will be decided after hearing the Centre and Human Rights Commission and it would also consider the nature of the guidelines issued by the NHRC � whether they are binding or only advisory.

The bench said that for the time being it was leaving open the question whether Court Martial proceedings can be initiated by the Army against an offender, if any, till the details of all the cases are being collated.

It said that if the law permits and the Army is so inclined, it may hold a Court of Inquiry in each case and posted the matter after four weeks for further proceedings. � PTI

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