The Supreme Court today asked the Centre to consider giving security cover to the parents of a youth, who was killed in a road rage case in 2011 by the son of Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh. The apex court observed that without any reason nobody has that courage to make allegations against the chief minister and the family should be given protection. The Manipur government informed the apex court that it does not have any problem in providing security to the parents of the youth who have alleged that they feared for their lives.
A vacation bench of Justices A K Sikri and Deepak Gupta asked Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh to seek instructions about providing security by central forces to the parents as they are now residing in Delhi. “Nobody has that courage to make allegation against chief minister without any reason. If they want protection then they should be given. There should not be any problem in providing security to them,” the bench said. Advocate Kamini Jaiswal, appearing for Irom Chitra Devi, mother of the victim Irom Roger, said they have left Manipur out of fear and are currently residing in Delhi. Therefore, security by Central forces needs to be provided.
ASG Maninder Singh said that they have to evaluate the threat perception to the family and only then the security cover can be provided. The counsel appearing for the Manipur government said the family has not applied for any security cover but they do not have any problem and can provide protection to them. The bench then asked the ASG to seek instructions and consider granting security cover to the family. Ajay Meetai, son of the chief minister, has been awarded a five-year jail term under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC for firing at Roger on March 20, 2011, and killing him.
The incident had occurred after Roger had allegedly not allowed Meetai to overtake him in his SUV which had irked the chief minister’s son. Advocate Kamini Jaiswal said that no one from Manipur has dared to file an appeal in the high court against the five- year jail term awarded to Meetai. Chandigarh-based advocate Utsav Bains had to file an appeal in the high court on behalf of parents of Roger. She alleged that Bains has also received threats after he started pursuing the case. The apex court had on May 22 sought response from the Centre and the state on the plea of parents of youth who also alleged that they are being threatened and family members are being allegedly implicated in cases.
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The apex court had not issued any notice to the chief minister and others in the case as sought.
The plea, filed through advocate Bains, had alleged that the parents of the victim were fearing for their safety in the state. The parents have sought directions “to provide security for the safety of the life and liberty of petitioners and their family members against any kind of threat and victimisation for their peaceful stay throughout India.” They have also sought a direction for an independent probe by a central agency on the ground that the state police was working at the behest of the convict.
“In January, the petitioners (parents) approached several lawyers in the high court of Manipur at Imphal, to file an appeal against the judgement of the sessions judge, Imphal (West), but all the lawyers they approached, refused to represent them due to the influence and clout of the Respondent No 3 (CM), more so, in view of the fact that nobody could dare to stand-up against the chief minister, home minister of the State,” the plea said. The petition referred to the fact that the convict, who was sentenced to five-year-jail term in 2011, is still serving the imprisonment which proves that he has been out of jail for a considerable period during the trial.