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Supreme Court To Hear Manipur Sexual Assault Video Case Today

A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud was to hear a batch of pleas regarding the ethnic violence in Manipur on July 28 but it was deferred due to his bad health.

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The Supreme Court will on Monday hear the central government’s plea to transfer the issue of the Manipur May 4 sexual assault video that sparked a massive outcry from political parties and others. The Centre has sought to transfer the case regarding the viral video of tribal women being paraded naked outside the northeastern state to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and direct its conclusion within six months. 

A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, which also includes justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, was to hear a batch of pleas regarding the ethnic violence in Manipur on July 28. However, it was deferred due to his bad health. According to a report by India Today, the top court bench will also take up a fresh petition filed by the survivors of the sexual assault seeking to protect their identity. 

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On July 20, the Supreme Court took cognizance of the viral video that stirred the nation demanding the government take necessary action. CJI DY Chandrachud said he was deeply disturbed by the video. "We will give a little time for the government to take action otherwise we will step in." He further said that using women as an instrument in an area of communal strife is "the grossest of constitutional abuse," he said. 

The top court had also asked the Centre and Manipur government to apprise it of the action taken to book the perpetrators. 

Clashes in Manipur between the Meitei community and Kuki tribes erupted on May 3 after a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. More than 160 people have been killed since then, as per official records, and hundreds of others have been injured.

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Meiteis account for about 53 per cent of Manipur's population and live mostly in the Imphal Valley, while tribals, which include Nagas and Kukis, constitute 40 per cent and reside mainly in the hill districts.

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