The Supreme Court on Friday said it is “not satisfied with the steps taken by the state” in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, and expected a responsible government, system and police. The top court also observed that handing over the case to the CBI was not the solution.
A bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli said: “We are not satisfied with the action taken by the state”.
On the non-arrest of Ashish Mishra, son of Union Minister Ajay Mishra, the bench queried Salve, “Is this the way you treat the accused in other cases as well?…Sending notice”.
The bench told Salve, “When there is a serious allegations of murder and gunshot injury, how the accused in other parts of the country are treated. Please tell us.”
The bench further queried senior advocate Harish Salve, representing the Uttar Pradesh government, that has the state government made a request to give the case to the CBI?
Salve replied that it is entirely in their hands. However, the bench told Salve: “CBI is also not a solution and you know the reason why…You find out better mode”.
Salve said the case is extremely serious. The bench replied: “If it is an extremely serious case that’s not how things are taking place. It is only in words and not in action”.
Salve admitted before the top court that what has been done by the state is not satisfactory and remedial action will be taken soon, and urged the bench to put the matter for hearing immediately after the Dussehra vacation.
The top court also took a strong objection to SIT formed in the matter, which comprises local officers.
The bench said it may not be required to keep the SIT anymore, and emphasized that they should not destroy evidence or do anything negative. Salve submitted that given the evidence in hand, allegations under Section 302, may be possibly true.
The top court told Salve that it will take up the matter after Dussehra vacation, ‘but that does not mean the state holds its hands’, and insisted that the state must take immediate steps.
Justice Kant said: “You have to inspire confidence”. Salve said, “What they have done isn’t satisfactory”.
The bench said: “Because of the sensitivity of the issue, state should understand, we aren’t saying anything more”.
The apex court has listed the matter for further hearing on October 20.
On Thursday, the top court had directed the Uttar Pradesh government to submit a status report indicating who are the accused named in the FIR filed in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case and whether they have been arrested or not.
On October 3, nine persons, including four farmers, were killed in the violence that had erupted during a farmers’ protest in Lakhimpur Kheri.