Women judges committee to examine sexual violence after women paraded naked

The Supreme Court considers creating a committee of retired female judges to look into cases of sexual assault against women in Manipur, India.

Statesman News Service

Statesman News Service

The Statesman


File photo of the Supreme Court PHOTO: THE STATESMAN

August 1, 2023

NEW DELHI – On Monday, the Supreme Court considered creating a committee of retired female judges to look into cases of sexual assault against women in Manipur.

Following a request for an investigation by a special investigation team (SIT) from two Kuki-Zomi women from Manipur who were seen being paraded naked by males in a video, the Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra of the Supreme Court of India made the same statement.

“We need objective assistance. One thing we can do is to have a committee of woman judges and domain experts or to have a committee of women and male judges. If we are not satisfied with what has been done so far that will define the extent of our intervention,” the Court said.

However, the Court did not issue any orders. Instead, it requested information about the state authorities’ actions up to this point, including information about the 6,000 first information reports (FIRs) that were allegedly registered.

The bench said that we can take it up tomorrow after receiving the state’s responses.

The women pleaded for protection for themselves and a directive from the closest district magistrate to record their statement in accordance with Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).

The Court refused the request for extra time from the Attorney General R Venkataramani and the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to provide more information.

“We are tight on time. All evidence would be gone by then. Look at the Imphal car wash incident. I also read about it. Who will give a statement as to what happened there,” the bench asked.

Social media was flooded with the horrifying video of two women being paraded naked and assaulted.

The videotape shows the two women being assaulted as they made their way toward a paddy field while being displayed naked by a group of men.

Conflict and violence broke out in Manipur as a result of several tribes’ opposition to the main Meitei community’s desire that they be given Scheduled Tribe status.

The Manipur government was required by the Manipur High Court’s order dated April 19, 2023, to “consider the inclusion of the Meetei/Meitei community in the Scheduled Tribe list, expeditiously, preferably within a period of four weeks” from the order’s date. Conflicts between the Meiteis and Kuki tribes resulted from this.

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