“This is a serious issue”: Supreme Court remarks hearing plea seeking probe against persons facilitating to protect Naxals

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A Supreme Court bench of Justices Khanwilkar and Pardiwala today remarked that the plea seeking a probe against individuals and organizations facilitating to protect Naxals raises certain serious issues. Court also made it clear that it will hear the plea tomorrow and pass final orders.

The Central Government had moved an application before the Apex Court seeking direction to initiate a CBI/ NIA probe against Individuals/organizations conspiring, abetting, and facilitating the filing of petitions premised on false and fabricated evidence before the Supreme Court 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.

The application was moved in a 2009 Public Interest Litigation filed against the Special Security Forces and Chattisgarh Police over the alleged killing of tribals in Dantewada District, Chattisgarh in September and October 2009.

When the matter came up for hearing, the Solicitor General of India, Tushar Mehta, submitted that the Supreme Court had asked a District Judge to enquire into the case of the petitioner and find out whether any acts of violence were committed by members of the Security Forces.

He told the court that all the petitioners informed the district judge that the security forces did not commit any such acts. The SG told the court that this proved that the averments of the writ petition were false. Speaking of the bonafide of the petitioner, the SG said that the petitioner has filed an affidavit after 12 years stating that the tribals were harassed into making the statement by the Security Forces and that it establishes the case of the petitioner.

The Solicitor General told the court that the petitioner in his affidavit has relied upon two unrelated articles from NDTV and Tehelka to say that the Supreme Court has asked the Centre not to make allegations against the petitioner.

Colin Gonsalves, Sr. Adv, appearing for the petitioner, informed the court that the plea was filed due to the inaction of the State of Chattisgarh in not registering an FIR against the violence committed against the tribals and informed the court that no FIR has been filed till date. SG Tushar Mehta objected to this and showed the details of the FIR. 

Due to paucity of time, the court adjourned the matter till tomorrow, May 18, 2022. Before the court could rise, Gonsalves asked the court if the matter could be taken up the day after tomorrow.

Justice Khanwilkar responded, "This is a serious matter Mr.Gonsalves, serious allegations have been made against the officers. You will have to manage your schedule, we will hear it tomorrow." The matter will be taken up at 2 PM on May 18, 2022. 

Case Title: Himanshu Kumar Vs State of Chattisgarh