The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea filed by the Manipur police personnel, seeking the recusal of two judges of the bench, in the alleged fake encounter case. A CBI Special Investigation Team (SIT) is probing the case.
"The observations are not intended to compromise the independence of SIT probing the fake encounters in Manipur," said the bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and UU Lalit. The bench also stressed that the institutional integrity of the judiciary and the CBI must be maintained.
In the petition, personnel of the Manipur police objected to the judges calling the accused who, were chargesheeted by the SIT in the encounter cases, as "murderers". The Manipur police said that the remarks passed by the bench during a hearing were prejudicial to the probe involving them.
The Centre had supported the plea of the forces saying that they had to face difficult situations in areas like Manipur and are forced to adopt various methods to deal with the situation at hand.
The court was hearing the main case, a petition, seeking a probe into as many as 1,528 cases of extra-judicial killings in the state.
On July 14, 2017, the top court had set up an SIT comprising CBI officers and ordered the registration of First Information Reports or FIRs and investigations into the alleged extra-judicial killings. The court had ordered FIRs in 81 cases, including 32 probed by a commission of inquiry, 32 investigated by judicial authorities, 11 in which compensation was given and six probed by a commission headed by former Supreme Court Judge Santosh Hegde.