The Supreme Court today came down heavily on the CBI’s SIT, probing alleged extra-judicial killings and fake encounters by the Army, Assam Rifles and police in insurgency- hit Manipur, for not registering the required number of FIRs as directed by it earlier. The apex court directed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to lodge 30 more FIRs on or before January 31 this year, after the SIT informed it that it has registered 12 FIRs till date. A bench comprising justices Madan B Lokur and U U lalit di-rected the probe team to complete by February 28 this year, its investigation into 12 cases lodged by them and file the final reports before the concerned court. The bench, which perused the first status report filed by the SIT, posed searching questions to it. The bench asked as to why all the FIRs have not been registered yet despite its July 14 order last year. It directed that all the subsequent status reports, to be filed before it by the SIT, should have the approval of the CBI director.
The bench also asked the CBI director to monitor the progress in the investigation and posted the matter for further hearing on March 12. The apex court had earlier said it appeared that matters related to the probe into alleged fake encounters in Manipur were not being taken up seriously by the SIT. The top court had on July 14 last year set up an SIT comprising five CBI officers and ordered registration of FIRs and probe into the alleged extra-judicial killings in Manipur. It had asked the CBI director to nominate a team of five officers for the SIT to lodge the necessary FIRs and complete the investigation into alleged fake encounters by December 31 last year. The apex court, which is hearing a PIL seeking probe into 1,528 alleged extra-judicial killings, had in July last year ordered registration of an FIR in 81 cases. These cases include 32 probed by a Commission of Enquiry, 32 cases investigated by judicial enquiries and high courts, 11 cases in which compensation has been awarded by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and six cases probed by a commission headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice Santosh Hegde. (PTI)