Supreme Court on tuesday, told the state of Miniport to bury the dead bodies of unkilled people without shame and dignity.
Since the violence started way back in May 2023, a bench made up of CJI DY Chandrachud and JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra justices noted that keeping the bodies in the mortuaries would be out of order.Therefore, a copy of the list was duly mailed to the respective next of kin along with appropriate funeral arrangements taking into consideration the relevant religious rites of the society.
That DNA samples would be taken prior to any burial process because the investigations are still ongoing during the criminal investigations.
Supreme Court passed the directions for the State government to follow:
- In view of this, all the next of kin of the identified bodies shall be allowed to conduct the last rights in either one of the designated nine burial sites without interference from any other entity.
- To achieve this direction, the State will inform one’s family about the nine burial sites within a week.
- The state should similarly communicate to the immediate family members concerning unclaimed bodies that they have a chance to take part in last rites along with the religious rituals at any of the mortuary/burial or crematorium sites.
- The procedure involved in the disposal of such corpses must be carried out within the framework of religious rites.
- It should provide for measures to be taken by the Collector and Superintendent of Police in regard to law and order.
- If DNA samples were not collected during an autopsy performed on an individual, then the State must take those samples.
State may announce publicly that in cases where bodies will be identified but unclaimed, the state will conduct last rites according to religions.The court ordered the government to do certain things with regard to handling of the dead bodies which should facilitate those who may want to identify the corpses and offer funeral services.
“Let the secretary be directed to do the needful”.A set of petitions on an existing Manipur violence spread was currently pending before the Supreme Court.It previously came up with a team of female justices including retired Justice Gita to investigate this inquiry that had taken place against it in gender matters.
Supreme court’s hearing today:
In his observations during his today’s ruling, CJI Chandrachud indicated that the panel has reported to the court that 169 of the 175 dead bodies have been identified.Out of the 169 identified dead bodies, 81 have their next of kin claiming them while 88 are not claimed.
Furthermore, the Court observed that Manipur Municipalities Act has provisions on how to handle unidentified corpses and allows the State authority to use its own funds for a free burial/cremation of such bodies.
The Court stated in its record that the State had identified nine burial sites and allowed the relatives to select their preferred one.In the said hearing SG of India Tushar Mehta on behalf of the state and Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves on behalf of Manipur Tribal Forum argued about where to bury these dead bodies.
Mehta was informed by Gonsalves to “stop bullying us the tribals”.In this regard, Gonsalves said “you are the State… the assailants here”. The senior counsel also stated that the petitioner’s intended to bury the bodies in a mass grave in accordance with their Kuki tradition.
In response, Mehta said,That is the trouble…………I don’t fight tribal folks, although I understand who is for you, and why.Furthermore, he emphasised how some individuals were intimidating the relatives who attempted to move a dead relative for burial elsewhere.
The SG says, “This court must order that no one shall intimidate them and police will act against the same”.Even CJI Chandrachud seemed to agree with the State, pointing out that the Justice Mittal committee had said that some coffins were left outside the District Collector’s office.Upon this proclamation, SG Mehta again quarrelled with Gonsalves through the Forum’s counsels who expressed.Come on, you have no shame, solicitor. Why do you act aggressively towards the victims?
On August, 1st the court criticised authorities and State Police for not taking care of the law and order situation which took place in Manipur. The committee led by justice Mittal will be assessing ongoing inquiries and propose for compensation, rehabilitation, among other things.