BHARATUttar Pradesh

SC to appoint judge outside from UP to investigate Lakhimpur Kheri case; Unhappy with UP govt. report

The Uttar Pradesh government issued a status report in the Lakhimpur Kheri case, which the Supreme Court has expressed dissatisfaction with. “Nothing in the report except that more witnesses have been interviewed,” observes the Supreme Court.

The Uttar Pradesh government was reprimanded by the Supreme Court early last month for failing to file a status report in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case. The state administration, according to the court, appears to be dragging its feet on the matter.

However, “To ensure that there is no confusion of evidence in the case, we are inclined to appoint a former judge of a different high court from outside UP to monitor the investigation,” the court said, recommending Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain (retired) or Justice Ranjit Singh (retired) from the Punjab and Haryana High Court to oversee the ongoing investigation.

After eight farmers, including a journalist, were slain in violence at Lakhimpur Kheri last month, lawmakers and the general public staged a nationwide protest.

The petition was being heard by a bench consisting of Chief Justice NV Ramana, judges Surya Kant, and Hima Kohli. On October 26, the highest court ordered the Yogi Adityanath government to give witness security under the Witness Protection Scheme, 2018.

Meanwhile, the government informed the court that the local journalist, Raman Kashyap, was murdered by the offending car involved in the incident, rather than by the farmers.              

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