Suo Moto Cognizance was taken by the Hon’ble Supreme Court when the horrific video of two women being paraded naked and subjected to sexual abuse surfaced on the internet during the ethnic conflict in the State of Manipur. The Centre and the State has been directed to inform the Hon’ble Court of the steps taken by them bring the perpetrators to justice.
Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta and Attorney General for India R Venkataramani were asked to appear before the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India who then, while addressing them, stated,
“We are very deeply disturbed by the videos which have emerged yesterday about the two women who were paraded in Manipur. We are expressing our deep concern. It is time that the government really steps in and takes action. This is simply unacceptable”
“Using women as instrument in an area of communal strife to inflict gender violence is deeply deeply disturbing. This is the grossest of human rights violations”, CJI said. “Though the video was of May 4, it does not make a difference” CJI said.
“We will give a little time for government to take action otherwise we will step in”, CJI warned after asking details of the action taken by the authorities since May to book the criminals. CJI also asked what action was taken by the Government to ensure that such instances are not repeated. “Who knows whether it was isolated or if there is a pattern”, CJI said.
The Hon’ble Chief Justice of India further informed the law officers that this issue will be a matter of consideration in the current batch of cases pertaining to Manipur Violence. The matter will be taken up next Friday.
The CJI dictated the following order: –
“The Court is deeply disturbed by the visuals of the video which have appeared in the media since yesterday about the perpetration of sexual assault and violence on women in Manipur. We are of the view that the Court must be apprised of the steps taken by the government to hold the perpetrators accountable and also to ensure that such instances are not repeated in the strife in Manipur. The visuals which are portrayed in the media would indicate reflects gross constitutional violations and infraction of human rights. Using women as instruments to perpetrate violence is simply unacceptable in a constitutional democracy. We direct the Union and the State Government to take immediate steps to apprise the Court of what action has been taken”.