SC transfers trial of 27 Manipur sexual assault cases to Assam

Satya Prakash
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New Delhi on August 25.
The Supreme Court has decided that the trials for 27 cases of sexual violence related to the ethnic conflict in Manipur will now take place in Assam. The cases are being investigated by the CBI.
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Victims can go to a virtual meeting instead of a physical one.

Victims and witnesses in Manipur can provide evidence remotely from their own location.

The Supreme Court has instructed the Manipur government to improve internet connection so that online hearings can be conducted more easily.
Requests the Gauhati High Court to assign one or more judges for handling cases in Guwahati.
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A group of three judges, with Chief Justice DY Chandrachud as their leader, told the Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court to choose one or more judges in Guwahati who can handle these cases that are being investigated by the CBI.
Victims and witnesses in these cases can choose to give evidence through video-conferencing from their location in Manipur instead of going to Assam to be physically present in the court in Guwahati.
“The instructions were given considering the current situation in Manipur and the importance of a fair criminal justice system,” the judges acknowledged. The highest court has told the Manipur Government to make sure the internet is good so that CBI cases can be heard online in Guwahati.
The Manipur government suggested that the trials in the cases being investigated by the CBI should be moved to Assam because of security concerns and worries about judges in Manipur belonging to specific communities. The order was made after this suggestion. Mehta said he selected Assam because they have good internet connection.
He said that if things get better, the judge from Guwahati may be asked to come to Manipur to conduct the trial. Senior lawyer Colin Gonsalves disagreed with moving CBI cases to Assam and proposed Mizoram as an alternative location. Senior lawyer Indira Jaising advised Meghalaya.
Gonsalves suggested that trials should take place in the mountains of Manipur. The Chief Justice of India responded by saying that there have been victims in both the valley and the mountains. It would be hard for people who had a difficult time in the valley to go to the hills, and vice versa. We are not currently on. Who experienced more hardship. Just the real-life challenge.
The Bench asked the Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court to choose one or more judges in Guwahati who can speak one or more languages of Manipur.
The Supreme Court also told the Acting Chief Justice of Manipur to choose magistrates for these reasons.
The line-up of suspects will happen with a magistrate from Manipur present. Requests for arrest and warrants will be done online.

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