10 Aug 2023 6:45 PM GMT
The Supreme Court released the judgment passed in relation to the Manipur ethnic violence on Thursday (August 10) late night. On Monday (August 7), a bench led by Chief Justice of India had indicated its plans to constitute a panel of three women judges to oversee the humanitarian works for the victims and to appoint officers from other States to monitor the investigation of the criminal...
The Supreme Court released the judgment passed in relation to the Manipur ethnic violence on Thursday (August 10) late night. On Monday (August 7), a bench led by Chief Justice of India had indicated its plans to constitute a panel of three women judges to oversee the humanitarian works for the victims and to appoint officers from other States to monitor the investigation of the criminal cases related to the ethnic clashes.
In its judgment, the Court has slammed the Manipur police investigation as "tardy" and expressed anguish at the sexual violence committed against women amidst the sectarian conflict.
Before the Court, the petitioners, who include the victims of sexual violence, NGOs, tribal organizations and rights activists, had put forth the suggestion to form a special committee to interact with the victims and to ensure proper humanitarian aid for them.
Taking into account these suggestions, the bench comprising CJI DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra, constituted a committee comprising :.
i. Justice Gita Mittal, former Chief Justice of the High Court of Jammu and Kashmir;
ii. Justice Shalini Phansalkar Joshi, former Judge of the High Court of Judicature at Bombay; and
iii. Justice Asha Menon, former Judge of the High Court of Delhi.
The mandate of the Committee is to :
i. Enquire into the nature of violence against women that occurred in the State of Manipur from 4 May 2023 from all available sources including personal meetings with survivors, members of the families of survivors, local/community representatives, authorities in charge of relief camps and the FIRs lodged as well as media reports; and
ii. Submit a report to the Court on the steps required to meet the needs of the survivors including measures for dealing with rape trauma, providing social, economic, and psychological support, relief and rehabilitation in a time bound manner;
iii. Ensure that free and comprehensive medical aid and psychological care to victims of survivors is provided;
iv. Ensure conditions of dignity in relief camps set up for displaced persons including suggestions for additional camps. This would include, illustratively, ensuring that the following requirements are met:
A. Clean rations which are adequate in quantity;
B. Adequate supplies of essential products such as soap, water, toothpaste, other toiletries, and clothes;
C. Taking care of the needs of infants and lactating mothers;
D. Meeting the requirement of basic medical care;
E. Control on the outbreak of communicable diseases;
F. Providing information on the accessibility of legal, psychosocial, medical and livelihood services;
G. Access to free pregnancy tests, free emergency contraceptives, free sanitary pads and free maternal health services including access to gynaecologists;
H. Emergency and specialised medical care for people suffering with critical illness including haemophilia, cancer, and HIV/AIDS;
I. Proper sanitation facilities at the relief camps including clean toilets and bathrooms which are adequate in number having due regard to the number of people housed in a particular relief camp and proper disposal of sewage and other waste;
J. Suicide prevention services and regular visits by psychologists / psychiatrists to treat the impact of violence and trauma;
K. Regular visits by psychologists, psychiatrists, and counsellors who are specifically trained to treat children and adolescents;
L. Ensuring that women, children and persons suffering from physical and mental disabilities have equal access to resources to meet their basic needs; and
M. Ensuring that information regarding the availability of the facilities listed above is disseminated and awareness is created amongst the residents of the relief camps.
v. Ensuring the payment of compensation and restitution to victims of violence; and
vi. Issuing directions for the appointment of nodal officers at relief camps and the provision of toll-free helplines to provide updates on any investigation, missing persons, and the recovery of dead bodies. The nodal officers must also ensure that they maintain a database of all persons who are housed in their respective relief camps. They must use this database to coordinate with one another and ensure that minors and other persons who have been separated from their families are reunited with their families at the earliest.
The three-Judge Committee appointed by the Court would, as part of its remit, enquire into and take steps necessary for the disbursement of compensation including the following:
a. Issuing directions to the Manipur State Legal Services Authority to ensure award and payment of compensation to all victims under Section 357A CrPC, NALSA’s Compensation Scheme for Women Victims/Survivors of Sexual Assault/other Crimes 2018, and the Manipur Victim Compensation Scheme 2019;
b. Where the victim is deceased, the next of kin should be identified for the payment of compensation;
c. A report of compliance be filed before the Court within six weeks with full particulars of the case, victim/witness, compensation awarded, date of payment and the persons to whom the payment was made;
d. The Member-Secretary NALSA shall monitor together with the three-Judge Committee on measures taken for witness protection, compensation and the rehabilitation and treatment of victims; and
e. Issuing directions to the State of Manipur to settle compensation for damages caused to the movable and immovable properties of persons affected by violence; and
f. The updated status report shall be filed before this Court on a fortnightly basis.
The three-Judge Committee has been directed to submit reports to the Court within a period of two months, elaborating on the progress which has been made.
Other reports about the judgment can be read here.
Case Title : Dinganglung Gangmei vs Mutum Churamani Meetei & Ors | 2023 LiveLaw (SC) 626 | 2023 INSC 698
Click here to read the judgment