Centre gets 2 weeks time to respond on missing peace negotiator
The Supreme Court granted two weeks time to the Centre to respond to a plea filed by the son of a missing mediator, who was working as a peace negotiator between the government and separatist outfit United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) since 1991.
Mediator Rebati Phukan's son has claimed in the top court that his father had gone missing on April 22.
A vacation bench comprising Justices U U Lalit and Deepak Gupta allowed the request made by the Centre's counsel, who said they have been recently served with the notice and would file an affidavit within two weeks.
The counsel appearing for Assam told the bench that they would place certain "confidential documents" in the matter before the court for its perusal.
"Union of India prays and is granted two weeks time to file affidavit. The counsel appearing for Assam submits that he would like to place certain confidential documents before the court for perusal. Let the matter be called on in the second week of July," the bench said.
On June 1, the court had sought responses from the Centre as well as Assam and Meghalaya governments on the plea which has claimed that a doctor has reportedly treated Phukan in Meghalaya few days back.
The petitioner had earlier told the court the Assam chief minister has assured him of all possible help in finding Phukan but they do not know whether he was in captivity, as various central agencies were involved in it.
Phukan was working as a peace negotiator between the Centre and ULFA since 1991 to facilitate a peace dialogue and the plea filed by his son has sought a direction to authorities, including Assam government, to produce him before the court.
He was appointed as a member of the erstwhile People's Consultative Group (PCG) formed by the ULFA in 2005 to mediate between the outfit and the Centre.
The petitioner has also urged the top court that the case be transferred to the CBI or any other independent agency or a special investigating team as there was "a loss of faith in local police" due to its alleged lethargic conduct.
The petitioner has said that his father went for a morning walk on April 22 but did not return to his rented house, after which a complaint was filed at a police station in Guwahati.
He has also claimed that on May 4, a CRPF doctor had messaged a journalist that Phukan was treated by him at a CRPF camp in Shillong and he was safe and sound.