New Delhi: The Centre on Friday supported the plea by Manipur law enforcement officers in the Supreme Court who were charge-sheeted in alleged fake encounter cases, seeking recusal of the bench from hearing the case.

A bench of Justices MB Lokur and UU Lalit reserved the order on the plea which sought its refusal from hearing the matter.

Attorney General KK Venugopal told the court that the alleged reported remarks of the bench that these cops were "murderers" has affected the morale of police and armed forces.

He said the armed forces in Manipur are facing difficult times fighting the insurgency, and the court's remarks have wholly shaken their morale.

The court, which is hearing a PIL seeking a probe into as many as 1,528 cases of alleged extra-judicial killings in Manipur, had on July 14 last year constituted the SIT and ordered lodging of FIRs and inquiry into them.