New Delhi. (talk). The Supreme Court on Monday once again reprimanded the Uttar Pradesh government in the Lakhimpur Kheri murder case, saying that it is not satisfied with its investigation so far and wants to get the investigation done under the supervision of a retired High Court judge till the charge sheet is filed. Is.
A division bench of Chief Justice N V Raman and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, while hearing the PIL, termed the government’s SIT probe as “loose” and said prima facie it appears that efforts are being made to shield the main accused. Is.
The apex court raised several questions during the hearing and said that the investigation by the Uttar Pradesh government was not as expected. There is nothing new in this case except the information on recording of statements of witnesses in the Progress Status Report submitted by the Government. The bench asked why mobile phones of the accused other than main accused Ashish were not confiscated. He expressed deep displeasure over not confiscating the mobile phones of other accused.
The Uttar Pradesh government told the court that the lab report regarding the evidence in this case would come by November 15. To this the court said that 10 days’ time was given. During this nothing was done. The government said that it does not have control over the functioning of the lab. Dissatisfied with the government’s probe, the division bench said it wants to get the matter probed by Justice Ranjit Singh, retired judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. On this, Mr. Salve said that he will present the government’s side in this matter in the next hearing on Friday.
It is noteworthy that on October 3, eight people, including three agitators, were killed during a farmers’ protest at Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh. There are allegations of four farmers agitating against the central government’s new agricultural laws, who were crushed to death by a car, the allegations have been leveled against Ashish Mishra, son of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra, among others. Ashish has been described as the main accused, on October 26, a bench headed by the Chief Justice heard the matter. During this, the bench had reprimanded the Yogi Adityanath government of Uttar Pradesh for its lax attitude in the investigation of the matter. The court, while ordering the protection of witnesses, had ordered expeditious recording of statements under section 164 of CrPC.
During the hearing, the bench had termed the incident as a ‘heinous murder’ and ordered the government to investigate the matter seriously. During the last hearing, the government told the bench that no negligence was being done in the investigation. On behalf of the government, it was said that the statements of 30 out of 68 witnesses have been recorded under section 164 of CrPC. The apex court had made strong observations stating the small number of witnesses and said that there were only 68 witnesses in the incident which took place in the presence of hundreds of people.
The Supreme Court had taken suo motu cognizance of the matter, which was converted into a public interest litigation based on letters from two lawyers. The lawyers have demanded a judicial inquiry and a CBI inquiry into the matter.
Significantly, many farmers’ organizations are protesting nationwide against the three new agricultural laws of the central government. More than 40 farmer organizations under the banner of United Kisan Morcha are continuously protesting in the borders of the capital Delhi and other parts of the country.
Farmers’ organizations brought by the Central Government of three agricultural laws- Farmer’s Produce Trade (Commerce Promotion and Facilitation) Act-2020, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Price Assurance and Agreement on Agricultural Services Act-2020 and Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act-2020 are opposing. In January, the apex court had stayed the implementation of these laws in the face of farmers’ protests.