India / Transferring Lakhimpur case to CBI not a solution: Supreme Court

Zoom News : Oct 09, 2021, 06:11 PM
New Delhi: Transferring probe into the brutal murder of eight persons including four farmers at Lakhimpur Kheri to the CBI may not be the solution, the Supreme Court Fridays said while expressing dissatisfaction with the steps taken by the Uttar Pradesh government so far in the case which has triggered a political storm.

An FIR against Ashish Mishra, the son of union minister of state for Home affairs Ajay Kumar Mishra, and others has been registered in the case and the alleged soft approach of the state police against him came to the scanner of the bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana.

The bench, which asked the state to mull over alternatives of conducting the investigation by any other agency�, orally observed against transferring the probe to the central agency.

Mr (Harish) Salve, we have respect for you. We hope the state will take the necessary steps. Because of the sensitivity of the issue, we are not making any comments.

Secondly, CBI is also not a solution for the reasons, you know the reasons...we are also not interested in CBI because of the persons who it is better you find some other mode. We will take it up immediately after the vacation. But that does not mean that they should keep their handoff. They have to do. They must act.., the bench, also comprising justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, said.

The bench, during the hearing, inquired from Salve, who was appearing for the Uttar Pradesh Government, as to whether any request had been made by the state government to hand over the case to CBI.

Salve said no such request has been made and this aspect can be dealt with by the court.

"Please have this on reopening. If you are not satisfied with the progress, hand it over to CBI, the senior advocate said.

The bench however said the CBI probe was not the solution.

In its order, the bench said: The learned counsel explained various steps which have been taken by the state government and the status report has also been filed to that effect. But we are not satisfied with the actions of the state.

...counsel assures us that he will take all necessary steps to satisfy this court on the next date of hearing and he will also consider alternatives of conducting the investigation by any other agency.

"In view of that, we are not inclined to go into details of this aspect. List this matter immediately after the vacation. Meanwhile, the learned counsel assured us that he will communicate to the concerned highest police officer in the state to take all necessary steps to protect the evidence and other materials related to the incident, the bench said.

Four farmers were mowed down by an SUV in Lakhimpur Kheri when a group agitating against the Centre's three new farm laws was holding a demonstration against the visit of UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya on October 3.

Two BJP workers and a driver were beaten to death allegedly by the angry protesters, while a local journalist was also killed in the violence.

An FIR under section 302 of the IPC has been registered against the Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra's son Ashish Mishra and others in the incident in Tikonia police station but no arrest has been made so far.

Farmer leaders have claimed that Ashish was in one of the cars that allegedly knocked down the protesters but the minister has denied the allegations.

Several farmer organisations are protesting against the passage of three laws -- The Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020 since last November.

The apex court had stayed the implementation of these laws in January.

Initially, the protests started from Punjab in November last year and later spread to Delhi, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh.