SC transfers 21 CBI cases to Assam; asks Gauhati HC CJ to designate Judges for fair trial

New Delhi (| The Supreme Court, in its order on Friday, transferred 21 cases being probed by the CBI in connection with the Manipur violence cases to a set of designated judges in Assam to ensure the safety and protection of victims and witnesses for a fair trial. A bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dr Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud, passed the interim order after hearing a batch of petitions that had been filed after the horrific Manipur violence.

Gauhati High Court is requested to select judges who are conversant in more than one language used in Manipur, the court said in its order. “At the present stage, bearing in mind the overall environment in Manipur and a need to ensure a fair process of criminal justice administration, we request the Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court to nominate one or more judicial officers,” the CJI Dr Chandrachud said and passed the interim order.

Now the court will hear the matter on Friday, September 1. The Apex Court also took into record the submissions of Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta that we would take care of the internet connectivity thing in Manipur and it would be restored in the state. Thereby, the Top Court directed that internet connectivity be ensured where designated local magistrates in Manipur are located.

The Court also said in its order that all applications for production of the accused, remand, judicial custody, extension of custody, and other proceedings in connection with the investigation are allowed to be conducted in online mode, bearing in mind distance and security issues. It also said that judicial custody, if and when granted, shall be granted in Manipur to obviate transit.

“Acting Chief Justice of Manipur HC shall designate one or more magistrates for this purpose. The Test Identification Prade (TIP) is permitted to take place in the presence of local magistrates nominated by the Acting CJ,” the CJI said while dictating the order. It said that the application seeking arrest shall be permitted to be made online. (UNI)