HIGHLIGHTS:

  • · The inquiry was made by CJI led bench after advocate for UP govt conveyed to him the proceedings of the case
  • · The court has ordered protection for the eyewitnesses and asked the UP govt to accomplish the recording of their statement in front of judicial magistrate fast
  • · A separate status report for the four deceased excluding the farmers was asked by the court

On Tuesday, the Uttar Pradesh government was asked by the Supreme Court why there were only 23 witnesses when a good number of farmers were present in the rally. The observation was made by the court when a suo motu hearing on the matter was held by it. Harish Salve, the senior advocate working on behalf of the UP government, conveyed to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana-led bench that statements of 30 witnesses out of 68 have been recorded. He has further said that 23 people claimed to be eyewitnesses of the incident.

In reply, the court inquired why there were only 23 eyewitnesses when there were hundreds of farmers in the rally. The state government replied to the court that the eyewitnesses include the people who have noticed the car as well as the passengers of the car. The court, ahead of the state government’s reply, said that if the information provided by the eyewitnesses is more reliable than the bystanders then it’s better to have first-hand information.

The bench gave protection orders for the eyewitnesses and also instructed the Uttar Pradesh government to accomplish the recording of the eyewitness’s statement before the judicial magistrate to the quickest. A separate status report on the four deceased which included a journalist was asked by the court. The matter is scheduled to have a hearing on November 8. On October 3, a violent clash in Lakhimpur Kheri, in which the SUV of Ashish Mishra, the son of Union minister Ajay Mishra, mowed down four farmers. Eight people have died in the incident, ahead of which, thirteen people including Ashish have been arrested so far.

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