Lakhimpur Kheri violence: Supreme Court says let retired High Court judge monitor probe, next hearing on Friday

By: |
November 08, 2021 12:20 PM

The court was hearing the matter in which the apex court had on October 26 directed the Uttar Pradesh government to provide protection to witnesses under the Witness Protection Scheme, 2018.

The court was hearing the matter in which the apex court had on October 26 directed the Uttar Pradesh government to provide protection to witnesses under the Witness Protection Scheme, 2018.

The Supreme Court on Monday expressed unhappiness over the status report filed by the Uttar Pradesh government in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, saying there is nothing in the status report apart from saying that more witnesses have been examined.

“There is nothing in the status report except saying that some more witnesses examined. We gave 10 days. The lab reports also have not come. It’s not going the way we expected,” Chief Justice of India N V Ramana said.

It proposed monitoring of the investigation in the case by an independent judge to ensure there is no mix-up of evidence, suggesting the names of Justice Ranjit Singh (Retd) from Punjab and Haryana High Court and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain (Retd). “We don’t want to add to political overtones. Let a retired (High Court) judge oversee (the case),” the CJI said.

Asking the state government to come back with instructions on the appointment of an HC judge to overlook the investigation till chargesheet is filed in the case, the court said will take up the matter on Friday.

The judges also said it appeared that two overlapping FIRs in the case were only aimed at protecting the accused, Ashish Mishra, and that the investigations were not kept separate as they should be.

A bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana and justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli questioned the UP government why mobile phone of only one of the 13 people arrested was seized. “Are you saying none of the accused had a cell phone in them? Where have you stated that?” Justice Kohli asked.

The court was hearing the matter in which the apex court had on October 26 directed the Uttar Pradesh government to provide protection to witnesses under the Witness Protection Scheme, 2018.

The bench had sought a status report from the state government on the alleged lynching of a journalist and one Shyam Sundar by the mob, after a vehicle mowed down four protesting farmers.

The top court is hearing the Lakhimpur Kheri matter after two lawyers had written to the CJI seeking a high-level judicial inquiry, also involving the CBI, into the incident.

The counsel appearing for the state government had told the apex court on October 26 that out of 68 witnesses, the statements of 30 witnesses have been recorded under section 164 of the CrPC and some more testimonies will be recorded.

“Of these 30 witnesses, 23 claim to be eye-witnesses. A lot of witnesses are formal witnesses of recovery and all,” the state’s counsel had told the bench, adding that 16 accused have been identified so far.

The police have so far arrested several accused, including Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra, in connection with the case.

Four farmers were mowed down by an SUV in Lakhimpur Kheri when a group agitating against the Centre’s three farm laws was holding a demonstration against the visit of Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya on October 3.

Two BJP workers and a driver were beaten to death allegedly by the angry protesters, while a local journalist was also killed in the violence. Farmer leaders have claimed that Ashish Mishra was in one of the cars that allegedly knocked down the protesters but the minister has denied the allegations.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, Check out latest IPO News, Best Performing IPOs, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1AK-203 assault rifles deal: Boost to BJP ahead of UP elections?
2Waseem Rizvi, former UP Shia Waqf Board chief, converts to Hinduism
3BJP will win Goa polls irrespective of any alliance, says state president Tanavade