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By Rajesh Kumar

The apex court on Monday (July 30) told CBI to prune the layer of investigating officers in Manipur extra-judicial killings case from six to two and also replace DIGs to Superintendent of Police (SPs).

The bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and UU Lalit further directed CBI to carry this exercise within three weeks.

The bench was hearing a PIL seeking a probe into as many as 1,528 cases of extra-judicial killings in Manipur. The Indian Army, Assam Rifles and the Manipur Police have been accused of fake encounter killings in 1,528 cases from 2000 to 2012 in the insurgency-hit Manipur.

During the course of proceedings, the CBI Director Alok Kumar Verma (who was asked to personally appear on the previous hearing to justify slow pace of investigation into the case) informed the bench that from August 2017 to Feb 2018, only FIRs were registered in the encounter cases.

To which the bench asked: “The basic material is already there. There is an SIT. There are 1,000 of cases. Why don’t you take steps?”

Verma replied: “We are sincere to it and we are serious about this. This court should have faith on us that we will investigate the cases at the earliest.”

The CBI Director today assured that two chargesheet has been filed and 14 people have been chargesheeted. The CBI also assured that by August 5 more chargesheet will be filed.

The bench said: “Even with your estimate we can’t see light till March 2019.”

Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves informed the bench that there was no burden of cases on the investigating officers. “Each officer is allotted with only two cases and that case goes on for 1.5 to 2 years.”

The bench directed CBI Director to again personally appear on the next date of hearing i.e August 20.

—India Legal Bureau  

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