Centre seeks time from SC to respond to a plea

Centre seeks time from SC to respond to a plea

The Centre on Friday sought two more weeks from the apex court to respond to a plea related to the mysterious disappearance of Rebati Phukan, a peace negotiator from Assam.

A vacation bench of Justices U U Lalit and Deepak Gupta allowed the request made by the Centre’s counsel for more time to file a reply to a habeas corpus petition filed by Rebati's son Kaushik, claiming that his father has been missing since April 22.

Rebati, the father of the petitioner is a former footballer, businessman and was appointed as a member of the People’s Consultative Group (PCG) formed by the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) in 2005 to mediate between the separatist outfit and the Centre.

The counsel appearing for Assam told the bench that they want to submit certain confidential documents in the matter before the court.

The case is scheduled for hearing in July, after the summer break.

It had earlier on June 1 issued a notice to the Centre and Assam government on the Kaushik's petition, which claimed that his father might be in the custody of the Intelligence Bureau, Research and Analysis Wing, Military Intelligence or National Investigating Agency as they have a rivalry amongst them.

Kaushik claimed his father has been assiduously working since 1990, to facilitate peace dialogue between the Union government and ULFA. In 1997, the petitioner’s father played a major role in getting Anup Chetia, general secretary, ULFA to India after he spent about 18 years in jail in Bangladesh. He cited a news report stating that his father was negotiating a fresh proposal for Paresh Baruah’s faction with the Centre with help from the interlocutor with the Naga outfit National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) (Isak-Muviah), RN Ravi.