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Lakhimpur Kheri violence: SC recommends ex-HC Judge for monitoring of UP SIT probe, not happy with probe pace

The top court bench headed by CJI N V Ramana said 'no' to the CBI probe into the incident and said, “CBI is not the solution to everything. We want a returned HC Judge to monitor the probe and filing of separate chargesheets. We want to protect the evidence collected.”

Lakhimpur Kheri violence: SC recommends ex-HC Judge for monitoring of UP SIT probe, not happy with probe pace-dnm
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New Delhi, First Published Nov 8, 2021, 12:37 PM IST
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The Supreme Court heard the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case in which lives of 8 people were claimed, four of them being farmers protesters who were allegedly mowed down and suggested that a retired High Court judge should oversee the day-to-day investigation. The UP government has been asked to respond on Friday.

The apex court expressed unhappiness over the pace of probe by the Uttar Pradesh police in the Lakhimpur Kheri case. The top court bench headed by CJI N V Ramana said 'no' to the CBI probe into the incident and said, “CBI is not the solution to everything. We want a returned HC Judge to monitor the probe and filing of separate chargesheets. We want to protect the evidence collected.” There is a need to infuse fairness and impartiality in the investigation, the bench orally commented.

The Supreme Court said both incidents - mowing down of protesting farmers by a vehicle and the lynching of the accused - have to be investigated and taken to a logical conclusion. Admonishing the UP police, the SC said ‘pace of probe is not up to expectation’. The bench also expressed dissatisfaction at the fact that the forensic lab reports regarding the video evidence have not yet come and that the mobile phones of all accused have not been seized, LiveLaw reported.

Also read: Lakhimpur Kheri violence: SC raps UP govt over delay in investigation, says ‘you are dragging your feet’

The court questioned the UP police why mobile phones of all accused in the case have not been seized, except that of prime accused Ashish Mishra so far. "Did other accused not use cell phones," the SC asked. Noting that there were 16 accused in the farmer mowing down incident of which 3 were lynched, the court asked, “Why have you seized the phone of one accused? Where have you said in the status report that the rest of the accused threw away their mobiles but the police have recovered CDRs,” it asked.

Supreme Court suggested that Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain (Retd) or Justice Ranjit Singh (Retd) from Punjab and Haryana High Court can oversee the Lakhimpur Kheri investigation. 

On October 3, the lives of 8 people were claimed, four of them being farmers protesters who were allegedly mowed down by the vehicles in the convoy of Ashish Mishra, the son of Union Minister and BJP MP Ajay Kumar Mishra. The Union minister's son Ashish Mishra, the prime suspect in the case has been arrested along with 12 others.

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