SC appoints retired Punjab and Haryana HC judge to monitor Lakhimpur Kheri violence

SC appoints retired Punjab and Haryana HC judge to monitor Lakhimpur Kheri violence

India News


The Supreme Court Wednesday appointed retired Punjab and Haryana High Court judge Rakesh Kumar Jain to monitor the investigation in the Lakhimpur Kheri matter. It also reconstituted the Special Investigation Team (SIT) by appointing three more senior police officers.

Eight people, including four farmers, were killed in violence during a farmers’ protest in Lakhimpur Kheri. Thirteen people, including Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra, have been arrested so far in connection with the case.

Justice Jain enrolled as an advocate with the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana in May 1982 and started his legal practice at the district court of Hisar. He was elevated as a judge of the Punjab & Haryana High Court on December 5, 2007, and retired on September 30, 2020.

Earlier, the apex court had expressed dissatisfaction over what it said is the “mixing up” of investigation in the cases pertaining to the October 3 incident. “To ensure that evidence…are recorded independently and there is no overlapping and there is no intermixing of the evidences, we are trying to appoint a retired judge from a different High Court to monitor the investigation on day-to-day basis…We are not confident…We don’t want judicial commission appointed by your state to continue…” the CJI had said.

“What it appears to us is that this SIT (Special Investigation Team) somehow or the other is unable to maintain investigative distance between the cases,” said Justice Surya Kant, who is part of a three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana.

He added, “To ensure that evidence…are recorded independently and there is no overlapping and there is no intermixing of the evidences, we are trying to appoint a retired judge from a different High Court to monitor the investigation on day-to-day basis…We are not confident…We don’t want judicial commission appointed by your state to continue…”.

Advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the UP government, agreed to the bench’s suggestion and stated that it may appoint a judge from any state. The bench further noted, “The other concern is you have to upgrade the task force, they have to be higher officers. “Most officers are in the grade of Sub Inspectors from the Lakhmipur Kheri region,” Justice Surya Kant said.



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