TODAY -
High Court issues enquiry order
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 24 2009: The Gauhati High Court, Imphal Bench has passed order directing the District and Sessions Judge, Manipur East to make an enquiry into the facts and circumstances leading to the death of Irungbam Somananda Meitei, who was alleged to have been killed in an encounter with personnel of 12 Assam Rifles and to submit the enquiry report within six months.

The order was passed today after hearing a petition filed by Irungbam Mema, wife of the deceased, said a press release issued by the Human Rights Law Network.

According to the petition, Somananda was picked up by AR personnel from his home located at Pungdongbam Awang Leikai at around midnight of February 29, 2004.The AR personnel refused to give any arrest memo.

Later, the lifeless body of Somananda, then 26 years old, was found at RIMS mortuary on March 2 .

On the other hand, Assam Rifles claimed that Somananda was killed in an encounter which took place at Sanjenbam village, Tinsid Road at about 4.15 am of March 2, 2004 .

The Gauhati High Court has also directed the parties to appear in the Court of District and Sessions Judge, Manipur East on September 11 this year for initiation of enquiry.

The respondents listed in the petition are the Defence Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, the Home Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, GOC 57 Mountain Division, CO of 12 AR, Principal Secretary (Home), the DGP and the Imphal East SP, conveyed the release.

On the other hand, a retired High Court judge from outside the State is likely conduct the proposed judicial inquiry into the July 23 alleged shootout at busy Khwairamband Bazar that left two persons killed while five others injured in police firing.

Earlier, the State Government had wanted a sitting Judge of the Gauhati high court .

But this idea had to be abandoned as the court made it clear that sparing a sitting judge to conduct the probe would face certain difficulties.

Subsequently, the State Government attempted to find a retired HC judge from the State itself but in vain without success.

According to sources, there are two retired HC Chief Justices.

However, as they are not willing to conduct the probe, the State Government is planning to rope in the service of a judge from outside Manipur.


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