Centre to SC On Manipur Viral Video: “Zero Tolerance” Towards Crime Against Women

28 July, 2023 | Anamika Singh Parihar

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The Centre has transferred the case of two women in a widely shared video to the CBI, with approval from the Manipur government, stating zero tolerance for crimes against women.

The Centre notified the Supreme Court on Thursday through its affidavit that the Central government has zero tolerance for any crimes against women and that it has chosen to transfer the case involving the two women in the widely shared video to the CBI. According to the affidavit, the Central government decided to entrust the CBI with the probe into the popular video of two ladies, with the approval of the Manipur government.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah reported that the individual who had recorded the video has been apprehended and the mobile phone that was being used to record the video has also been retrieved.

It said, “This is one of the reasons why the Central government has decided to transfer the probe to an impartial investigating body, namely the CBI, with the approval of the State government. An Additional SP rank officer has been entrusted with investigating the matter, under the constant supervision of other top police officials, and numerous police squads have been established for mass operations at several sites to arrest identified suspects, it added.

The Manipur government subsequently suggested to Secretary, DOP&T by video letter dated July 26, 2023, to entrust the case to CBI for additional inquiry, which was officially recommended to Secretary, DOP&T by MHA via letter dated July 27, 2023. The affidavit stated that CBI will be given the probe as a result.

The Central Government views heinous offenses like sexual assault and violence like the recent Manipur incident as too severe and deserves serious action, the centre stated in its affidavit. The Union Home Ministry has been monitoring developments in the Manipur viral video case, aiming to detect crimes against women nationwide.

The State administration told the Centre, it said, that seven of the major suspects had been detained and were being questioned by police as a result of the inquiry. In accordance with its recommendations, the trial should take place outside of the state and be finished in less than six months.

PM Narendra Modi broke out his silence on Manipur case after seventy nine days since the violence broke out and that too only after a video showing two Kuki women being paraded naked by a mob emerged on social media. While the opposition have demanded PM to issue a statement on Manipur in the House.

The three month long Manipur violence has killed more than 160 people, many have been injured while around 70,000 people have been displaced.

The central government is of the opinion that the trial must be held outside of the State of Manipur and that not only should the investigation be finished as soon as possible, but it must also be done so in a timely way. Therefore, the Central Government specifically requests that this Court order the transfer of the entire case, including the trial of the relevant offense, to any State other than the State of Manipur. The Central government is asking this Court to issue an order with a further directive to end the trial within six months of the date of the filing of the charge sheet because only this Court has the authority to transfer the case/trial outside of any State.

The CJI viewed the incident as “simply unacceptable”. He also noted the issue of using women as instruments in communal strife to inflict gender violence is completely distressing. The SC bench urged the government to take steps to book the perpetrators of the incident and prevent future incidents.