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Lakhimpur Kheri violence: SC to appoint former HC judge to oversee probe, asks UP to upgrade SIT officers

ANI | Updated: Nov 15, 2021 15:02 IST

New Delhi [India], November 15 (ANI): After the Uttar Pradesh government told the Supreme Court on Monday that it can appoint a former High court judge to oversee the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, the apex court said it has to finalise the name of the judge and will pass order on November 17.
A Bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli said it will have to talk to the judge it was considering to appoint.
"We will need another day since we are considering either Rakesh Jain or some other Judge. We need to talk to the judge we will appoint," the Bench said.
At the outset, Salve told the Bench that he has taken instructions and government will leave it to the court, whoever the court consider may be appointed.
The apex court also asked senior advocate Harish Salve appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government that its Special Investigation Team (SIT) has to be upgraded by including some senior officers.
In the SIT most officers are from Lakhimpur only, the Bench said and asked the Uttar Pradesh government to circulate the names of IPS officers of UP cadre who do not hail from UP, for inclusion in the SIT.
Earlier, the top court had proposed to appoint a former High Court judge to monitor the ongoing investigation into the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case while expressing dissatisfaction with the Uttar Pradesh Police probe for mixing of witnesses in different FIRs in the case
The Bench had suggested the names of Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain or Justice Ranjit Singh, former judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to oversee the probe.
The top court also asked the Uttar Pradesh government to look into some persons grievance that victims of violence at Lakhimpur Kheri incidents have not been paid compensation.

The hearing of the case relating to the October 3 violence in Lakhimpur Kheri now adjourned for November 17.
Local farmers had blamed Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Kumar Mishra 'Teni' and his son Ashish Mishra for the violence that left eight dead, including four farmers a local journalist and others during a farmers' protest. They were mowed down by a vehicle which was part of the convoy of the Minister in Lakhimpur Kheri in north-central Uttar Pradesh.
The apex court was a hearing case where two lawyers had written a letter to the CJI seeking a high-level judicial inquiry into the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case.
The top court had also declined to hand over the probe to the CBI saying "CBI is not the solution to everything".
It had expressed concerns about the case against the prime accused in the case relating to mowing down the farmers being diluted by clubbing the investigation with the counter-case of mob lynching.
The top court had said that the investigation in both cases must be separate and the statements of witnesses in both cases must be recorded independently.
The apex court had also observed that pace of the investigation is not up to the expectation and said that the prima facie view it gets is that one particular accused is benefited by recording statements of witnesses in a particular manner.
As per reports 13 people, including Ashish Mishra have been arrested so far in connection with the case. Ashish Mishra had allegedly mowed down farmers with his car.
Two advocates -- Shiv Kumar Tripathi and CS Panda -- had sent the letter petition before CJI seeking punishment for politicians allegedly involved in the ghastly incident. The letter had stated, "Having regard to the seriousness of the killing of the farmers at district Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh, it is incumbent upon this Court to intervene in the matter as flashed in the press."
Videos were being circulated on social media where a Mahindra Thar was seen knocking down protesters from behind.
The Minister and his son deny the charges. Ashish Mishra and 20 others have been booked for murder. (ANI)