SC seeks status report from UP in Lakhimpur Kheri case
The Supreme Court on Thursday sought a status report from the Uttar Pradesh government in the Lakhimpur Kheri case regarding the FIR and the arrests. Eight people, including four farmers, were killed in UP's Lakhimpur Kheri as a Union Minister's convoy mowed down a crowd of farmers, triggering a clash. The case will now be heard on Friday. Here are more details.
'We need to know who are the accused,' says SC
A three-judge bench of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli was hearing the Lakhimpur Kheri matter. The bench told the UP government, "There are farmers and other persons also have been murdered. We need to know who are the accused against whom FIR is registered and who is arrested. Please file a status report on this."
Petitioners demand time-bound CBI probe
Appearing for the UP government, Additional Advocate General Garima Prashad informed the court that they will try to file the status report by Thursday. The court was hearing the grievance of two UP lawyers—Shiv Kumar Tripathi and CS Panda—that the Yogi Adityanath government was not investigating the case properly. The lawyers have demanded a time-bound investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Lawyers demand punishment for those guilty
In their letter, the two lawyers had also sought directions to the Union Home Ministry to ensure that an FIR is registered and that those guilty are punished. Incidentally, the main accused, Ashish Mishra, is the son of Union Minister of State (Home) Ajay Mishra.
PIL registered as suo motu case due to miscommunication: CJI
The case had appeared in the apex court's causelist as a suo motu case, even though the case was taken up after the lawyers wrote to the SC. The CJI clarified that the court had asked the Registry to register the letter as a public interest litigation (PIL) case. However, due to miscommunication, it was registered as a suo motu case, he said.
Petitioner lawyer blames 'negligence of administration'
Due to the confusion, the two lawyers were not present during the online hearing. Both advocates were called to join the hearing, however, only Tripathi managed to join. Tripathi described the case as a "human rights violation" and blamed the deaths on the "negligence of the administration," LiveLaw reported. Due to network issues, the bench could not hear Tripathi's grievances properly.
Victim's mother critical; SC directs UP government to help
During the hearing, the CJI reportedly read out a message from advocate Amritpal Singh Khalsa, saying that the mother of Lovepreet Singh—one of the victims in the Lakhimpur incident—is in critical condition due to the shock from the loss of her son. The court told the UP government to provide all necessary medical facilities to the mother, according to Bar and Bench.
What happened in Lakhimpur Kheri on Sunday?
On Sunday, farmers were protesting against the Centre's agricultural laws ahead of an event in Mishra's paternal village in Lakhimpur Kheri's Tikunia. Mishra's son Ashish was allegedly going to receive the event's chief guest, Uttar Pradesh Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya, when the farmers staged a demonstration. A video shows the minister's convoy ramming violently into unarmed farmers, which triggered a clash.