Will Appoint Judge From Different HC to Monitor Probe’: SC Unhappy with UP Government Report on Lakhimpur Kheri

Expressing disappointment over the way the probe in the Lakhimpur Kheri case was proceeding, the supreme court on Monday said that it would appoint a judge from another state’s high court to monitor the investigation till a charge sheet is filed, LiveLaw reported.

While hearing the Lakhimpur Kheri case on Monday the Apex court had expressed unhappiness over the status report filed by the Uttar Pradesh government.

According to ANI, the SC said that there was nothing in the status report apart from saying that more witnesses have been examined.

The Top court also rejected a request for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the incident, and said that the probe agency was not the solution to everything.

A supreme court bench led by CJI NV Ramana said that the investigation is not going the way it expected. The court expressed dissatisfaction at the fact that the forensic lab reports regarding the video evidence had not yet arrived and that the cell phone of only one accused had been seized so far.

Expressing concerns about the case against the main accused in the attack on farmers being mixed up with the mob lynching case, the court stated that the probe into both the cases must be kept apart. The statements of witnesses pertaining to different cases must be recorded separately, it added.

“What we expect from SIT is those coming to depose in the case of farmers death, this will be an independent exercise and the evidence you are collecting in the other case cannot be used in this,” remarked Justice Kant, as per Bar & Bench.

He further said, “What it appears to us is that this SIT is unable to maintain an investigative distance between the three FIRs.”

The court making sure that there is no overlapping of the evidence, said it was proposing the appointment of a retired judge from the Punjab High Court and Haryana HC to oversee the investigation, according to LiveLaw.

“We want a retired HC judge to monitor the probe and filing of separate charge sheets. We want to protect the evidence collected,” said the Supreme Court a bench.

The judges suggested by the Top Court for the Lakhimpur Kheri investigation include, Retd Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain or Retd Justice Ranjit Singh from Punjab and Haryana High Court respectively.

Meanwhile, the hearing has been adjourned till Friday.

(Inputs from LiveLaw, ANI, Bar and Bench)

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