HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The comment by the apex court comes after the statements of only four witnesses were recorded in the case
  • The SC ordered to record the statements of the other witnesses in the case before a judicial magistrate
  • A bench comprising Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli were hearing the matter
  • Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the UP govt, was questioned why the statements of 40 other witnesses were not recorded yet

Today, the Supreme Court pulled up the Uttar Pradesh police for dragging its feet in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case. “We think you (UP police) are dragging your feet. You please dispel this,” the SC added. The comment by the apex court comes after the statements of only four witnesses were recorded in the case. Angered by the situation, the SC ordered to record the statements of the other witnesses in the case before a judicial magistrate.

A bench comprising Chief Justice of India NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli were hearing the matter pertaining to the Lakhimpur Kheri violence. The bench questioned senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, why the statements of 40 other witnesses were not recorded yet. Earlier, the bench was informed that the process of recording statements of witnesses before the judicial magistrate was going on.

Responding to the questions of the bench, Salve cited that he had submitted a report on the incident in a sealed cover. He also mentioned that 10 accused have been arrested. “The statements of other witnesses were being recorded, but the courts had shut (due to Dussehra break),” Salve added. The top court has posted the matter for hearing on October 26.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been instructed by SC to provide more information, and record the statements of other witnesses. The bench asserted that the SIT must identify the vulnerable witnesses, provide them protection and record their statements under Section 164 CrPC, as it will have more evidentiary value.

On October 3, eight people, including four farmers and a journalist, were killed during a farmers’ protest. The incident took place when an SUV belonging to a Union minister’s convoy ran over them.

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