The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a petition filed by activist Himanshu Kumar demanding a CBI investigation into the alleged killing of 17 tribals in 2009 by the Chhattisgarh Police and Central security forces.
Kumar was fined 5 lakh by a bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar and JB Pardiwala, to be deposited with the Supreme Court Legal Services Authority.
Before the decision was made, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta requested that the Central Government be allowed to prosecute the petitioner.
The Central government had filed an application with the Supreme Court seeking to hold Kumar, who filed the PIL, guilty of levelling false claims of extra-judicial executions against security forces in relation to operations against left-wing militants in Chhattisgarh in 2009.
That year, Kumar filed a petition with the Supreme Court documenting how, during September and October 2009, security forces not only committed extrajudicial killings, but also raped and plundered tribal people in the districts of Dantewada and Belpocha in Chhattisgarh.
A Delhi district judge was directed by the Supreme Court in 2010 to record the petitioners’ statements. However, the recorded statements were not made available to the Centre until March 2022.
In its motion to the Supreme Court, the Central Government said that after reviewing the recorded statements, it was obvious that the PIL petitioner’s claims were “ex facie false, fabricated, and deceitful.”
It went on to say that the petitioner’s primary goal was to portray left-wing radicals as “innocent tribal victims being massacred by security forces.”
According to the Central Government, the petitioner’s main goal in this case was to impede the security services’ ongoing efforts to combat left-wing extremism. As a result, the Centre requested that the petitioner be found guilty of providing false evidence.
It further requested that the CBI, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), or any other central agency investigate persons and organisations who have been aiding and conspiring to submit court applications to prevent security personnel from acting against naxal militia.
Case Title: Himanshu Kumar v. State of Chhattisgarh