Can consider appointing retired SC judge to monitor Lakhimpur Kheri probe: SC

The Supreme Court on Monday said it will also consider the names of some retired apex court judges to monitor day-to-day investigation in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence incident. The top court also directed the Uttar Pradesh government to upgrade its task force investigating the matter with some high-ranking officials.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, representing the Uttar Pradesh government, submitted that the top court can appoint a retired judge to monitor the SIT probe.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli said, “Now, we have a lot of freedom for a retired SC or HC judge. Let us see…”

The bench noted that it will find out a judge who is willing to take up the assignment.

During the hearing, the top court emphasized that the Uttar Pradesh government should upgrade the task force investigating the matter. It said the officers must be high-ranking officers, currently there are local Lakhimpur Kheri, sub-inspector level and DSP level officers on the task force.

The bench told Salve that it needs one more day’s time to finalise the name of the judge. “We are considering Rakesh Kumar Jain (former Punjab and Haryana HC judge) or others. We have to consult them,” said the bench.

Salve submitted, “Judge can be appointed from any other state”. Earlier, the top court had said it wanted to appoint a judge outside of Uttar Pradesh.

Concluding the hearing, the top court asked the Uttar Pradesh government to look into grievances of the victim’s families, who have not been paid compensation. Additional Advocate General Garima Prasad submitted that the state would take necessary steps.

The violence occurred on October 3, resulting in the killing of eight persons, including four farmers who were allegedly mowed down by the vehicles in the convoy of Ashish Misra, the son of Union Minister and BJP MP Ajay Kumar Misra.



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