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CBI chief faces top court’s ire over no arrests in Manipur fake encounters

The Supreme Court had summoned CBI director Alok Kumar Verma to appear before it on Monday after the agency failed to file final reports in seven cases of extra judicial killings.

india Updated: Jul 30, 2018 23:42 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Supreme Court,CBI,CBI director
The CBI director told the court that probe in 20 more fake encounter cases in Manipur will be completed by December end.(PTI)

The Supreme Court on Monday pulled up Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) director, Alok Verma, for the probe agency’s ‘inability’ to arrest 14 persons accused of murder and conspiracy in two cases of extrajudicial killings in Manipur.

“According to you, there are 14 murderers in these cases and they are loafing around Manipur freely? You haven’t arrested any of them? What happens to the society?” said the bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and UU Lalit, while directing the CBI to file a final report in the cases by the end of August.

Verma said the agency was doing its best and the accused had not yet been arrested because the case against them was based on circumstantial evidence and there was nothing to be “recovered from them”.

The argument, however, cut no ice with the apex court. “Let’s take the example of a rape case, where nothing is to be recovered from the accused, will the police arrest the accused or not?” Justice Lokur asked the CBI director.

“Moreover in this case the accused are charged with not just murder and conspiracy but also destruction of evidence and still there are no arrests?” Justice UU Lalit.

Appearing for the petitioners’, senior advocate Colin Gonsalves said: “Custodial interrogation of all the accused is needed as they are accused of heinous offences. CBI should be directed to complete investigations in the case in a time bound manner”.

Verma told the court that the agency was striving to file charge sheets in four more cases of extra judicial killings by the end of August. The court was hopeful that CBI will be able to complete investigations in more cases by the end of next month and left it to the agency’s discretion whether any arrests are to be made in the fake encounter cases or not.

First Published: Jul 30, 2018 16:57 IST