Lakhimpur Kheri: SC Appoints Retd Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain to Supervise Probe
The SC has said it will confirm which retired judge will be appointed to monitor the investigation of the incident.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday, 17 November, has appointed retired Punjab & Haryana High Court judge Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain to monitor and supervise the investigation of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident "to ensure transparency, fairness and absolute impartiality".
The court has also appointed three senior police officers (including one lady officer) to take over the Special Investigating Team (SIT) investigating the incident in Uttar Pradesh that saw four farmers and a journalist killed after a car belonging to a BJP leader plowed into a crowd of protesting farmers, followed by the lynching of three BJP workers in retaliatory violence.
The apex court will hear the matter again after a chargesheet is filed and a status report filed with it by Justice Jain.
At the last hearing on Monday, the Supreme Court said it would confirm which retired judge would be appointed to monitor the investigation of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, after speaking to potential candidates including Justice Jain.
"We need to find out some judge who is willing to take up the task," had said Chief Justice of India NV Ramana on Monday.
Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the state of Uttar Pradesh, had said that they would be happy for the court to appoint any retired judge, even someone who wasn't from UP – the bench had earlier only been considering retired judges from the state.
The bench also expressed concerns about the composition of the task force appointed to probe the incident, which saw four protesting farmers and a journalist plowed down by the car of a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, followed by retaliatory violence in which three BJP workers died.
The judges were concerned that the task force only had officers from Lakhimpur Kheri itself and no senior officers "from higher up". Salve assured the court that some senior officers had now been brought in.
The court was also informed by counsel for some petitioners that the chief of the Special Investigating Team had allegedly been transferred without the permission of the court, a matter it said it would take up at Wednesday's hearing.
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