The Supreme Court, which had set up a committee comprising three woman judges to enquire into the violence against women in Manipur, has tasked it with collecting information on such incidents, as well as monitoring the conditions at relief camps and deciding on compensation to victims.
A bench of CJI DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, in their judgment, uploaded late night on Thursday, asked the committee, which comprises Jammu and Kashmir High Court’s former Chief Justice, Justice Gita Mittal, Bombay High Court’s retired judge, Justice Shalini Phansalkar Joshi, and Delhi High Court’s former judge, Justice Asha Menon – to collect information from all available sources including personal meetings with survivors or their family members, local or community representatives, relief camps, FIRs or media reports.
The bench said that the objective of constitution of such a committee is to restore the faith and confidence of the community in the justice system and secondly, to ensure that the rule of law is restored.
It asked the committee to submit a report before it on the steps required to meet the needs of the survivors of gender violence, and ensure that the relief camps set up for the displaced have clean rations, basic medical care, essential products, free sanitary pads, suicide prevention services, etc.
The committee has been empowered to issue directions for the appointment of nodal officers at relief camps and the provision of toll-free helplines to provide updates on any investigation, missing persons, and the recovery of dead bodies. “The nodal officers must also ensure that they maintain a database of all persons who are housed in their respective relief camps,” the Supreme Court ordered.
The committee has been entrusted with the payment of compensation and restitution to victims of violence. It has been empowered to issue directions to the State Legal Services Authority to ensure payment of compensation to all victims. “Where the victim is deceased, the next of kin should be identified for the payment of compensation,” the apex court judgment said.
The committee can issue directions to the state government to settle compensation for damages caused to the movable and immovable properties of persons affected by violence. It will submit its updated status report on a fortnightly basis directly to the apex court.