The Supreme Court on Friday reserved its order on petitions filed by former and serving Army officers requesting Justices MB Lokur and UU Lalit to recuse themselves from hearing the Manipur alleged fake encounter cases, reported ANI.

The Centre lent its support to the pleas filed by Manipur police personnel who have been chargesheeted, reported PTI. The judges’ remarks describing the policemen as murderers has affected the morale of the police and the armed forces, Attorney General KK Venugopal told the court.

The court is hearing a public interest litigation plea calling for investigation into 1,528 cases of alleged extra-judicial killings in the state. In July 2017, the Supreme Court formed a Special Investigation Team of Central Bureau of Investigation personnel to look into the matter.

After the Special Investigation Team filed two chargesheets against police personnel this July, the Supreme Court reprimanded the agency for the way it has handled the case. “According to you, there are 14 murderers in these cases and they are loafing around Manipur freely?” the court had said. “You have not arrested any of them? The CBI filed FIRs against dead persons who are victims. This is unbelievable.”

On August 3, the CBI booked Indian Army Major Vijay Singh Balhara in connection with the killing of a 12-year-old boy in Manipur’s Imphal West in 2009. A third chargesheet was filed on August 20. The latest chargesheet was filed on August 28 against two Manipur police officers in connection with an alleged fake encounter in 2011.