The Supreme Court on Friday adjourned the hearing of the case relating to the October 3 violence in Lakhimpur Kheri for November 15, on the request of the Uttar Pradesh government.
A Bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli adjourned the case on Monday after senior advocate Harish Salve appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government urged the court for grant of some time saying “we are working something out”.
Local farmers 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 hearing a case in which two lawyers had written a letter to the CJI seeking a high-level judicial inquiry into the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case.
On the last date of hearing, the apex 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.
It had asked Salve to take instructions from the Uttar Pradesh government on the appointment of a former High Court judge from a different state to oversee the probe and posted the matter for hearing today.
The apex court had said that to ensure there is no mix up of evidence in the case we are inclined to appoint a former judge of a different High Court to monitor the Lakhimpur Kheri probe.
The investigation is “not going the way we expected”, the Bench had said.
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.
It 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 the 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 being 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)