The Supreme Court today rejected the plea filed by Manipur Police personnel seeking removal of two judges of the bench in the alleged Manipur fake encounter case.

In the petition, personnel of the Manipur police objected to the judges calling the accused who were charge sheeted by the SIT in the encounter cases, as “murderers”.

The Manipur police said that the remarks passed by the bench during a hearing were prejudicial to the probe involving them.

The top court, however, turned down Manipur police personnel plea seeking recusal of Justices Madan B Lokur and UU Lalit in Manipur Fake encounters case.

Justices Lokur and Lalit stated that the policemen had no reason to doubt the SIT and the probe conducted by it in these cases.

The observations are not intended to compromise the independence of SIT probing the fake encounters in Manipur, said the bench comprising Justices Madan B Lokur and UU Lalit pointing at the remarks made earlier.

The top court also observed that the institutional integrity of the judiciary must be maintained.

Significantly, the Centre had also backed the plea filed by the Manipur Police personnel with Attorney General KK Venugopal saying the reported remarks of the bench that these security personnel were “murderers” had “completely shaken” the morale of the police and armed forces operating in insurgency hit areas.

However, the top court decided to dismiss the plea. Meanwhile, human rights activist from Manipur Babloo Loitongbam lauded the top court decision to reject the plea.