Delhi ( New Delhi)

SC fines petitioner who sought a probe by CBI into 2009 Dantewada killings

The bench imposed an “exemplary” cost of Rs 5 lakh on the main petitioner Himanshu Kumar to furnish within four weeks, failing which the authorities can take appropriate steps for recovery. Kumar had told the court that he runs an NGO Vanvasi Chetna Ashram in Dantewada.

Imposing a fine of Rs 5 lakh on the main petitioner, the Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a plea seeking a CBI probe into alleged torture and non-judicial killings by Chhattisgarh Police and central forces during anti-Maoist operations in Dantewada in 2009. The court said the investigation indicated that Maoists, not security forces, were responsible for the “alleged massacre”.

A bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and JB Pardiwala observed that the filing of the charge sheet on the findings of the investigation of various FIRs registered in connection with the alleged incidents indicated that the alleged massacre was on the end of the Naxalites (Maoists).

It said: “The material collected in the form of a charge sheet corroborates the case made by the defendants that the villagers were attacked and killed by the Naxalites. In the investigation, not even a single material has been found based on which even a finger can be pointed toward the members of the police force.

The court said: “…we have concluded that no case has been made out to be named for any further investigation by the writ petitioners, through an independent agency to be appointed by this Court and even less”.

The bench imposed an “exemplary” cost of Rs 5 lakh on the main petitioner Himanshu Kumar to furnish within four weeks, failing which the authorities can take appropriate steps for recovery. Kumar had told the court that he runs an NGO Vanvasi Chetna Ashram in Dantewada.

Pointing out that “prima facie… false information regarding the alleged massacre was given to the police by the first informers”, the court left “the State of Chhattisgarh/CBI… to take appropriate steps by law”.

It said: “We clarify that this shall not be limited to an offense under section 211 (false allegation of the offense committed with intent to cause hurt) of the IPC. A case of the criminal conspiracy or any other offense can also come up under the IPC. We cannot be deemed to express any final opinion on such action/proceedings. We leave it to the better discretion of the State of Chhattisgarh/CBI to take action accordingly keeping in view the gravity of the entire matter.”

Referring to the petition, the bench “expressed astonishment that the learned senior counsel appearing for the writ petitioners is completely oblivious to the fact that all the FIRs were investigated by the investigating agencies concerned and the charge sheet at the end of the investigation.” For offenses under IPC like murder, dacoity, etc. to be filed in various courts of the state of Chhattisgarh.

The petition was filed on the alleged murder of 17 people in separate incidents in Dantewada on September 17 and October 1, 2009. Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves appeared for the petitioners – Kumar and family members of some residents who were killed at the time.

The petitioners had alleged that Chhattisgarh Police, Special Police Officers (SPOs), activists of Salwa Judum (a vigilante group backed by the Chhattisgarh government), and paramilitary forces comprising CRPF and CoBRA battalions were responsible for the alleged “brutal massacre”.

Acting on the Supreme Court’s direction, a District and Sessions Judge in Delhi recorded the statements of petitioners other than Kumar in 2010 in the presence of an interpreter and Kumar.

Referring to him, the Supreme Court said, “The statements of Petitioners No. 2 to 13 recorded before the Judicial Officer demolish the entire matter put up by the Petitioner No. 1 (Kumar)…”

The verdict cited the statement of one of the petitioners, Soyam Rama, who said that he had “run away from the spot” when the firing took place and “could not see who fired the shot” and that he “would not be in one of the attackers”. Identification status.

Stating that “all other statements of the rest of the writ petitioners are on the same line and ground”, the bench said, “when we asked Mr Gonsalves to explain to us why his clients had to make such statements. Judicial A very curious reply came from the officer, Mr Gonsalves. According to Mr. Gonsalves, the entire manner and manner of recording the statement by a judicial officer of the rank of District and Sessions Judge was wrong.

The bench observed: “As per learned senior counsel, specific questions should have been asked to each writ petitioner by the judicial officer while recording his statement as per the directions issued by this Court…”.

Referring to this, the Supreme Court Bench said: “We fear, we are not in a position to accept such submissions after about 12 years. The statements recorded by the judicial officer are from the year 2010. Previous No complaint has been made before this Court even once in 12 years concerning the manner and manner of recording the statement, either orally or in writing. For the first time in 12 years, such complaint has been made.”

In April, denying the allegations levelled by the petitioners, the Centre had urged the Supreme Court to direct a probe by a central agency “to identify the individuals/organizations who have been conspiring, abetting and facilitating filing of petitions premised on false and fabricated evidence…with a motive to either deter the security agencies to act against the Left Wing (Naxal) militia by imputing false charges on them or to screen off the Left Wing (Naxal) militia from being brought to justice by creating a false narrative of victimization…”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button