Breaking: Supreme Court appoints Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain, former Judge, Punjab & Haryana High Court to monitor probe into Lakhimpur Kheri Violence

  • Thyagarajan Narendran
  • 12:59 PM, 17 Nov 2021

Read Time: 07 minutes

A Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice of India N.V.Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kolhi today appointed Justice (Retd) Rakesh Kumar Jain of Punjab and Haryana High Court to monitor investigation in the Lakhimpur Kheri Violence incidents. The Court has also asked the UP government to reconstitute the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to include IPS officers S.B.Shirodkar, Deepinder Singh and Padmaja Chauhan. 

The bench has directed that the matter be listed after a charge sheet has been filed on the recommendation of Justice (Retd) Rakesh Kumar Jain.

The Supreme Court had on 8th November expressed its intention to appoint a retired High Court judge to monitor the probe, Harish Salve, Senior Advocate, appearing for the State of UP on the last date of hearing agreed to the proposal of the Court. 

Background of the case:

The Supreme Court had expressed that though it wasn’t satisfied with the conduct of the investigation in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident it will not comment on it given how sensitive the issue is.

In addition to this the CJI had opined that the accused should be treated the way other accused are being treated.

Later, on October 9 Uttar Pradesh Police arrested Ashish Mishra, in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case accused of running his car over protesting farmers and killing them. It is to be noted that he is the son of Member of Parliament and Union Mister of State for Home Affairs, Ajay Mishra.

The recent violent incident(s) happened at Lakhimpur Kheri where 8 people died including four farm law protestors, two BJP workers, a driver, and a local journalist leaving several others injured.

Recently, 2 lawyers had written to the Supreme Court, seeking time-bound CBI probe into the Lakhimpur Kheri incident advocates have also sought directions to the Ministry of Home Affairs to get an FIR register into the case in addition to the punishment for Ministers allegedly involved in the incident that took place on October 3rd 2021.

The letter by Advocates Shiv Kumar Tripathi and C.S. Panda, states that having regard to the seriousness of the killing of the farmers at Lakhimpur-Kheri, it is incumbent upon the Supreme Court to intervene in the matter.

Identifying themselves as liberty-minded public activists concerned with the upholding and protection of the rule of law in the midst of the violence-ravaged State of U.P., the petitioners state that the incident calls for the forthwith judicial interdict direction against the Union government , U.P. government and the concerned bureaucrats so that the cult of violence comes to a grinding halt.

Asking the court to treat their letter as a Public Interest Litigation, the petitioner advocates allege that of late, violence has become the political culture in the country now and the latest development in the State of U.P. is a burning example of the same. Stressing that the human right violation in a democratic country like India coupled with the police excesses at the end of the government of U.P. is the scope, scale and ambit of the present communication, the petitioner couple plead for Apex Court intervention so that the guilty be brought to justice.