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Manipur violence: Supreme Court issues new directions for recording of statements of victims/witnesses

The Supreme Court has issued a new set of directions regarding the recording of statements of the victims and witnesses in the cases related to ethnic violence in Manipur. 

The Bench of Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice J.B. Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra issued the directions in response to a letter sent by the Manipur High Court seeking clarity in this regard.

The directions issued on Friday pertained to the cases being handled by the Special Investigation Teams in Manipur and not the cases related to sexual violence, which were transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

As per the Apex Court, the statements under Section 164 CrPC would be recorded by the local magistrate designated by the Chief Justice of Manipur High Court.

It said in case the victim/witness was situated outside Manipur, the statement should be recorded by a magistrate having jurisdiction in the area where the victim/witness was located.

The Bench ordered that after recording of the statement, the same should be remitted to the additional magistrate in the state of Assam.

It said the Test Identification Parade would be conducted by the local magistrate in Manipur.

The top court of the country had earlier directed the Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court to designate courts in Guwahati to handle the pre-trial steps of CBI cases. 

It had granted liberty to the investigating agency to submit applications regarding remand, extension of custody and issuance of warrants online before the designated courts in Guwahati, Assam. 

The victims and witnesses were also granted liberty to give evidence virtually from their places in Manipur, instead of travelling physically to the courts in Assam.

(Case title: Dinganglung Gangmei vs Mutum Churamani Meetei And Ors)

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