Lakhimpur Kheri: SC slams UP government; says 'dissatisfied with probe'

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Lakhimpur Kheri: SC slams UP government; says
Lakhimpur Kheri: SC slams UP government; says

08 Oct 2021: Lakhimpur Kheri: SC slams UP government; says 'dissatisfied with probe'

The Supreme Court on Friday said that it is not satisfied with the steps taken by the Uttar Pradesh government in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case probe. The SC said the matter would be taken up again after vacation. The court had on Thursday asked the UP government to submit a status report on the actions taken, which the latter produced in Friday's hearing.

Case: SC expressed concerns about fair probe

A three-judge bench—comprising Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli—was hearing a PIL filed by two lawyers from UP: Shiv Kumar Tripathi and CS Panda. The bench expressed concerns about a fair probe into the case. It also pulled up the UP government over the lack of arrest of the main accused, despite grave charges of murder.

Court proceedings: UP government's counsel says accused was served notice

During the hearing, Senior advocate Harish Salve—appearing for the UP government—informed the court that a "young man" has been served a notice to appear at 11 am on Saturday. Salve was referring to Ashish Mishra, the son of Union Minister Ajay Mishra, who is accused of driving the vehicle that mowed down a crowd of protesting farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri Sunday.

Court proceedings: SC berates UP government for not arresting accused

"If (Mishra) doesn't (appear), the rigor of law would be against him," Salve said. The bench then questioned as to why the accused has only been served notice and not been arrested. The CJI said, "The allegation is of 302 (murder). Treat him the same way we treat other persons in other cases. Not that 'we have sent notice, please come,' etc."

Fact: 'Ask DGP to ensure evidence is protected'

The CJI said, "We don't know if the good probe is conducted in this case because of the officers involved. Please ask the DGP to ensure that the evidence is protected and not destroy all in interim by the time another agency takes it over."

SC: SC refuses to involve CBI in the investigation

The SC noted that all officers involved in the Special Investigation Team (SIT) are local people. Pointing out delays in taking action, the bench said, "This is what happens when all are local people. Has the state made a request to give the probe to CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation)?" However, it added, "The CBI is also not the solution, for reasons you know."

Other details: UP government's counsel provides assurances to court

Salve ensured the court that he will communicate to the UP DGP to take steps to protect evidence and other material, the SC noted, slating the matter for further hearing on October 20. Salve also ensured the court that the state would consider alternative agencies to investigate the incident. He also said that all "shortfalls" in the probe will be met by Saturday.

Other details: SC slams media for misleading reports

The SC also slammed the media for a misleading report that the CJI met the family of those killed in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident. "I'm not on the issue of tweets... I'm in court, how can I go to Lucknow and meet them? Leave it there," CJI Ramana said. "We respect media and their independence, but this is not fair," Justice Kohli remarked.

The news article, Lakhimpur Kheri: SC slams UP government; says 'dissatisfied with probe' appeared first on NewsBytes.

Also see: Union Minister's son, accused in Lakhimpur case, skips police summons
SC seeks status report from UP in Lakhimpur Kheri case
Supreme Court: CJI-led bench to hear Lakhimpur Kheri matter today
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