The Supreme Court today said it would transfer an appeal challenging the conviction of Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh's son for lesser offence in a 2011 road rage case from Manipur to some other high court. The observation by a bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi and Navin Sinha assumes significance as the parents of victim Irom Roger, who was killed in the incident, have claimed that they and their lawyer fear for their lives in Manipur. It has also been alleged that no lawyer wants to appear in high court in Manipur to argue the appeal against five-year jail term awarded to Ajay Meetai, the chief minister's son. "We will take up the matter tomorrow.
But we have made it clear that we will allow filing of an appeal in some other high court," the bench said. Meetai has been awarded the five-year jail term under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC for firing at Roger on March 20, 2011, and killing him. The incident had occurred after Roger had allegedly not allowed Meetai to overtake him in his SUV which had irked the chief minister's son. The Centre had last month told the court that Roger's parents would be provided security by the state government. The state government had also informed the apex court that the parents - Irom Chitra Devi and Irom Lokendra Singh - would be provided round-the-clock security by Manipur Rifles at their residence. In an affidavit filed before the apex court, Manipur's chief secretary had denied the allegation that at the instance of the chief minister, the administration including police were obstructing the Iroms from approaching the high court to challenge the conviction of Meetai for lesser offence. The state had said that allegations, including that the chief minister was abusing his official positions to obstruct the parents from approaching court, have been found to be false. On May 29, the apex court asked the Centre to consider giving security cover to the parents of the youth. The Manipur government had told the court that it does not have any problem in providing security to the parents of the youth who have alleged that they feared for their lives. The apex court had on May 22 sought response from the Centre and the state on the plea of parents of youth who also alleged that they are being threatened and family members are being allegedly implicated in cases. The parents have sought directions "to provide security for the safety of the life and liberty of petitioners and their family members against any kind of threat and victimisation for their peaceful stay throughout India".