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Lakhimpur Kheri: Supreme Court tells UP govt to ‘dispel feeling you are dragging your feet’

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SC bench says it waited till 1 am on Tuesday night for the status report on Lakhimpur Kheri violence probe, but got nothing

 

New Delhi: Coming down heavily on the Uttar Pradesh government over the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, the Supreme Court said on Wednesday that it should dispel the feeling that it was dragging its feet in the matter.

Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said, “We waited till 1 am last night for filing (of the status report that UP government was supposed to do), but got nothing.”

The bench, comprising CJI Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, also noted that statements of just four witnesses had been recorded so far under section 164 of CrPC, despite there being 44 witnesses.

They asked senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the UP government, why statements of others had not been recorded.

When he replied that it might have been because of Dussehra vacations, the bench retorted that criminal courts would not be closed for vacations.

When senior advocate Garima Prashad, also for UP government, said that the police were reconstructing the crime scene, the court observed that reconstruction of the scene and recording of statements before the judicial magistrate were different things

CJI Ramana then said that the state government would have to take steps to record the statements under Section 164.

It also called for protection to vulnerable witnesses and getting their statements recorded under Section 164 of CrPC.

Eight persons were killed in Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh on October 3. Of them, four were farmers who were mowed down by a vehicle. An FIR was registered in the case. Union minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra is the prime accused in the case.

The Supreme Court had taken suo motu cognizance of the matter and had directed the UP government to file a status report in the case.

 

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