New Delhi: Expressing concern over spate of alleged extra-judicial killings in Manipur, the Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to the Centre and the state government on a plea for an independent probe into around 1500 such cases.
A bench of justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai also asked the National Human Rights Commission to file its reply to the plea by November 5.
The court`s order came on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition by an association of the families of the alleged victims, pleading with the apex court to set up a special investigation team and direct inquiry into all such cases.
The association said in all, over 2000 odd extra-judicial killings have taken place in the state, but no one has been held guilty till date.
"The petitioners seek orders from this court for setting up of a special investigation team of police officers of integrity from outside the state of Manipur to investigate all such killings," said senior advocate Colin Goansalves, appearing for the petitioner.
The petitioner alleged innocent people with no criminal records have been killed by the security forces and no proper investigation has been done in such cases.
"Not only were there no criminal investigations and prosecutions of the guilty, even departmental enquiries were not conducted and no policemen or personnel of the security forces were punished departmentally for their actions.
"The magisterial enquiries that took place sometimes were conducted by the executive magistrates under the cover of secrecy and most often without intimation to the eyewitnesses and the members of the families. They were conducted as eyewash," the petition said.
The apex court had earlier on July 4 agreed to hear a similar plea for probe into the alleged extra-judicial killings by the Border Security force in the West Bengal border area.
In that case petitioner Bangla Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha, a Kolkata-based NGO had alleged that there are more than 200 cases where the BSF personnel indulged in extra-judicial killings and torture in the border area and those cases were never probed by the state police.
The NGO had alleged that instead of registering an FIR against the BSF personnel, it is registered against the deceased and the case is closed on that basis.