New Delhi: On the second day of hearing in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, Supreme Court on Friday expressed its dissatisfaction with the action taken by the Uttar Pradesh Government and the state Police in investigating the case.
“We are not satisfied with the actions of the state…”, the bench said in its order.
During the hearing, the bench asked the authorities why has the accused not been arrested. Senior advocate Harish Salve appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government said that UP Police has served summons to the main accused Ashish Mishra. Reacting to this, the Court critically asked the authorities to treat the accused as is, and not just issue summons.
“We are not on merits. Allegation is of 302 (Section 302 IPC murder offence). Treat him same way we treat other persons in other cases”, the CJI said to Salve.
Expressing concern over the probe, CJI Narvane later asked the State government to apprise the court of an alternative agency that can conduct the investigations into the matter. The Bench, till then, asked the state authorities including Police officials like DGP to ensure that all the pieces of evidence collected in the case so far is ‘protected’ till another agency takes over.
The apex court said that it is a brutal murder of eight persons and the law must take its course against all accused. Court further added that it hopes that the UP government will take necessary steps due to the sensitivity of the issue.
Advocate Salve later assured the court that the highest police officer in the State will be informed to preserve the evidence in the case.
Earlier, on Thursday, SC had directed the Uttar Pradesh government to file a status report on who are the accused against whom FIR has been filed in the matter.
A Bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli also sought a report from the state government on the status of the case registered in connection with the October 3 incident and the PILs in the matter before Allahabad High Court. Last Sunday, eight people were killed when a convoy of SUVs sped through farmers’ protest in Lakhimpur Kheri.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Police has pated another notice outside the residence of Union Minister Ajay Kumar Mishra in Lakhimpur Kheri, asking his son Ashish Mishra to appear before it on October 9, at 11am, in connection with the violence.
The court has adjourned the matter till Oct 20, 2021, without further comments.