SC EXPRESSES DISSATISFACTION IN LAKHIMPUR INVESTIGATION, SUGGESTS EX-HC JUDGE TO MONITOR PROBE

The Supreme Court on Monday had a hearing of the Lakhimpur Kheri matter in which it expressed dissatisfaction in the Uttar Pradesh government’s investigation. The court proposed to appoint a retired High Court Judge to monitor the probe till the charge sheet is filed. The court pointed out the ‘mixing up’ of investigation in the cases related to the October 3rd incident which killed 4 farmers in the area. Ten people in the case have been arrested including Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra.

 

Justice Surya Kant who is part of the three-member bench headed by Chief Justice N V Rama observed, “What it appears to us is that this SIT somehow or the other is unable to maintain investigative distance between the cases”. “We are trying to appoint a retired judge from a different High Court to monitor the investigation on a day-to-day basis…We are not confident…We don’t want judicial commission appointed by your state to continue…”, he added. 

 

The bench suggested this as the statements of witnesses relating to the death of the BJP workers who died in the incident, were overlapping with that of the death of the four farmers. Harish Salve, representing the state, said this was because the statements on the death of the farmers were also being given by the witnesses. 

Justice Hima Kohli suggested the names of judges be appointed in the monitoring-  Justice Ranjit Singh from Punjab and Haryana High Court and J Rakesh Kumar Jain. Advocate Salve said the government can appoint. 

The CJI justified the SC’s suggestion to appoint a High Court judge while having and exchange with Salve on the death of the Journalist, with Salve saying all of them were crushed by the car but there were ‘political overtones’. To which the CJI replied “We don’t want to have any political overtones

 

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