SC to appoint an all-woman panel to oversee relief in Manipur
The Supreme Court will appoint a three-person all-female committee, led by Justice Gita Mittal, a former Chief Justice of the Jammu & Kashmir High Court, to offer a “healing touch” in the violently divided Manipur, the Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud announced on Monday in open court.
What is the background of the Manipur Crisis?
- Communities in Manipur have seen horrendous violence since May 3, including reported rapes, burnings, and decapitations. This violence appears to be prompted by the state government’s efforts to provide Meiteis access to privileges and positions that were previously only available to Kukis.
- The violence that broke out in Manipur and caused multiple deaths and displaced people calls for worldwide attention and concern.
- The continuous mistrust and animosity between the Kuki-Zo and Meitei communities have made it possible for outsiders to investigate the issue.
What are the observations made by the supreme court in the Manipur issue?
- Lethargic Investigation: The Supreme Court voiced grave worry about the Manipur investigation’s “lethargic” speed. The description “lethargic” alludes to the investigation’s slow and unhurried development.
- Absence of Arrests: The Court observed that despite some time has passed, no arrests had been made about the incidents. This assessment suggests that there hasn’t been much progress in finding the perpetrators of the assault.
- Breakdown of Law and Order: The Court stated that there is an “absolute breakdown of law and order machinery” in Manipur. This suggests a serious collapse in the institutions in charge of upholding law and order’s ability to function effectively, which probably had a role in the current crisis.
- Doubting Constitutional Machinery: The operation of the constitutional machinery has been called into question, according to the Chief Justice of India (CJI), as a result of the current law and order situation in Manipur. This finding shows that the crisis has raised concerns about the state’s institutions’ capacity to defend constitutional norms and provide efficient governance.
What are the steps taken by Supreme Court to resolve this issue?
- Appointment of an All-Women Committee: The Chief Justice of India, D.Y. Chandrachud, announced the appointment of an all-female committee that will be made up of three former High Court justices. The group is in charge of assisting with Manipur’s relief, recovery, and restoration operations. Justice Gita Mittal, a former chief justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, is the chairman of the committee, which also includes Justices Shalini Phansalkar Joshi and Asha Menon.
- Supervision and Monitoring: The committee’s responsibilities include supervising, becoming involved, and keeping track of many areas of the relief and reconstruction activities, such as repairing homes and places of worship. The committee’s all-encompassing strategy is to give the area a “healing touch”.
- Monitoring of Investigations: The Supreme Court intends to appoint retired IPS officer Dattatray Padsalgikar to direct and keep an eye on the comprehensive investigation of the several cases that were filed throughout the Manipur conflict. There are numerous first information reports (FIRs) involved in these investigations.
- Investigations Need External Control: The Manipur Police’s investigations require external control, according to the Supreme Court. To oversee the operation of the 42 special investigation teams (SITs) established by the Manipur government, it intends to enlist officials from various states. To oversee the work of these SITs, six officers with the rank of Deputy Inspector-General (DIG) from six different states will be recruited.
How will these measures help in making the situation better?
- Relief and Rehabilitation: A well-rounded strategy for meeting the needs of the afflicted population is likely to be ensured by the creation of an all-female committee made up of seasoned former High Court judges, with an emphasis on relief, rehabilitation, and restoration activities. This group is tasked with overseeing and facilitating the repair of any possible infrastructure damage from the violence, including homes, places of worship, and other structures.
- Reconciliation: Providing a “healing touch” through the committee’s work indicates a focus on both physical repair and emotional healing and reconciliation within the impacted communities. A diverse committee with experienced women judges participating in the process is likely to foster empathy and understanding.
- Impartial Invegistaion: To maintain objectivity and honesty in the investigative process, the Supreme Court has appointed a former IPS officer to supervise the investigations of the various cases that were registered during the unrest. Building trust among the impacted people that justice would be served is crucially dependent on this oversight.
- External Oversight: Adding a layer of external oversight is the participation of officers from other states in the supervision of the inquiries made by the Manipur Police’s special investigation teams (SITs). By taking this action, you can avoid conflicts of interest, biases, and attempts to influence the findings of the investigation.