Manipur high court orders Union of India, BSF to pay compensation of Rs 5 lakh to BSF firing victim
Smt. Ningthoujam Ongbi Sunibala Devi versus Union of India & 3 others (W.P. (C) No 75 of 2008) In a judgment delivered by a division bench comprising of the Hon'ble Chief Justice Laxmi Kanta Mohapatra and Hon'ble Mr. justice Kh. Nobin Singh of the Hon'ble High Court of Manipur at Imphal on 22nd January 2015 in the case of Smt. Ningthoujam Ongbi Sunibala Devi versus- Union of India & 3 others (W.P. (C) No 75 of 2008), the Hon ble High Court ordered for the payment of Rs. 5 Lakhs as compensation to the petitioner, Smt. Ningthoujam Ongbi Sunibala Devi, whereby the compensation is to be paid by the Union of India and authority of Border Security Force (BSF). According to case dossier, on 1st February 2007 there was a Thabal Chongba programme at the Nongpok Sekmai Lila Kambong Playground, Thoubal District. At around 8 p.m. some personnel of 172 Bn. BSF came in an armored vehicle at the said playground. At around 9.30 p.m. when the Thabal Chongba programme was in full swing, some armed assailants fired few rounds upon the said personnel of 172 Bn. BSF, as a result one of the BSF personnel who received bullet injury on his leg felt down from the armored vehicle. When the assailants immediately left the place, the BSF personnel started firing indiscriminately towards the crowds at the playground and as such two person namely Yambem Kala Singh and W. Bikram Singh sustained bullet injuries. Thereafter the BSF personnel left the place. At that point, of time the Petitioner's husband Ningthoujam Thopchao alias Ranbir Singh along with his three friends, who were at Shikhong Sekmai Bazar started returning home. When they reached the southeastern side of the 172 Bn. BSF post, they found the personnel of BSF frisking the public. They were asked to raise their hands and were interrogated by BSF personnel and thereafter they were asked to proceed their way. When they reached the main gate of the Nongpok Sekmai Primary Health Centre, the BSF personnel from the bunker situated inside the said Primary Health Centre fired towards them. The Petitioner's husband sustained injury on his person and when his friends were about to pick the Petitioner's husband up, they were not allowed to do so and were asked to leave the place. At around 11.30 p.m. the BSF personnel took the Petitioner's husband to the RIMS hospital. However, he was succumbed to the injuries at the hospital in that very night. The BSF personnel claimed that the Petitioner's husband sustained bullet injuries on his person during exchange of firing between the armed militants and the BSF personnel. However, the Judicial Inquiry conducted pursuance to the Hon ble High Court's order ne/gated the plea taken by the BSF personnel and as such, Shri M. Ibohal Singh, learned Additional District and Sessions Judge (FTC), Manipur West has concluded his Judicial Inquiry Report that the bullets fired by the BSF Personnel from their bunker caused bodily injury to deceased Ningthoujam Thopchao alias Ranbir Singh and the Personnel of 172 Bn. Border Security Force (BSF) are responsible for the killing of the Petitioner's husband. By accepting the findings of the Judicial Inquiry, the Hon'ble High Court of Manipur has awarded Rs. 5,00,000/- as compensation under public law domain for the violation of the inalienable human right of the Petitioner's husband by the personnel of 172 Bn. Border Security Force. It is made clear that the said amount of compensation is to be paid by the (i) Union of India represented by the Defence Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Government of India; (ii) the Home Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India and (iii) the Commanding Officer, 172 Bn. Border Security Force within three months.