NEW DELHI: The CBI has constituted a special team of five officers under a Superintendent of Police to look into records of about 95 extra-judicial killings by the army, state police and paramilitary forces in Manipur between 2000 and 2012.
The CBI has taken this step on the orders of the Supreme Court which had on July 14 directed that it scan through the records of the fake encounters and start fresh probe by filing new FIRs.
It had ordered the CBI director to nominate a team of five officers to go through the records of the cases, lodge necessary FIRs and complete the investigations by December 31 and prepare charge sheets, wherever necessary.
The Army had objected to any such probe saying it cannot be subjected to investigations for carrying out anti-militancy operations in Manipur and Jammu and Kashmir.
It had alleged before the Supreme Court that there was local bias in judicial inquiries conducted against it in these regions, which have tarnished its image.
The point was also underlined by the Attorney General but the Supreme Court rejected it.
"It was also submitted by the learned Attorney General that there were local pressures and the ground level situation was such that it would not be surprising if the inquiries were biased in favour of the citizens and against the State. This is only a submission which is noted and rejected," the bench had said.
The bench had said compensation has been awarded to the next of kin for the agony they have suffered and to enable them to immediately tide over their loss and for their rehabilitation.
"This cannot override the law of the land, otherwise all heinous crimes would get settled through payment of monetary compensation. Our constitutional jurisprudence does not permit this and we certainly cannot encourage or countenance such a view," it said.
The bench of justices M B Lokur and U U Lalit said it is of opinion that it would be appropriate if the CBI is required to look into these fake encounters or use of excessive or retaliatory force.
The court was hearing a PIL seeking probe into 1,528 extra-judicial killings.
Calling upon states to adhere to the NHRC guidelines, the bench had said "it is not as if the dignity of only living persons needs to be respected, even the dignity of the dead must be given due respect".