Manipur viral video case: SC slams Centre over delay in FIR filing
New Delhi/IBNS/UNI: The Supreme Court on Monday came down heavily on the Centre and questioned it over the delay in filing FIR in the Manipur viral video case, in which two women were allegedly sexually assaulted and paraded naked by a mob on May 4.
A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chadrachud, asked the government why the police took 14 days to register the FIR.
"Inform us what kind of legal aid you are providing to victims," the court questioned both the Centre and the state government.
Hearing a batch of petitions related to violence in Manipur, the top court said that whatever happened in the northeastern state cannot be justified by saying that it happens elsewhere in the country.
Terming the offence against Manipur women as 'horrendous', it said that it does not want the case to be handled by state police.
Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre and state of Manipur, told the court that the government has nothing to hide. "This court can monitor the investigation of the case."
Kapil Sibal, appearing for the two victims, opposed the CBI probe and the transfer of the case to Assam.
The CJI-led bench wanted to know from SG Mehta how many FIRs have been registered against the accused to date in such cases and violence.
He stressed that we also have to make some sort of a mechanism to see the broader issue of violence against women. "This mechanism should ensure that all such kinds of cases are taken care of and appropriate measures must be taken."
Sibal argued that it was clear that the police were collaborating with the perpetrators of the violence. "While the victims sought the protection of the police, they took them to the crowd, abandoned the jeep, and did this, and how do we depend on an agency to handle it?"
"The father and brother of one of the victims was allegedly killed by the perpetrators and we don't know where these two bodies are now. The state is there to protect the citizens," Sibal said.
"The state and Centre are completely unaware till today as to how many FIRs have been registered so far," Sibal said.
SG Mehta reiterated that the central government shares the concern of Sibal. "Govt of India has no objection to the Supreme Court monitoring the investigation of the case. This shows the transparency in the case," he said.
During the course of the hearing, the CJI observed that the perpetrators needed to be arrested immediately.
Many intervenors have submitted their arguments urging the SC to take appropriate directions in the matter.
The SC will continue the hearing into the Manipur sexual assault video case on Tuesday.