Updated: October 8, 2021 8:26:05 am
Calling the incident in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3 that led to the death of eight people, including four farmers, “unfortunate”, the Supreme Court Thursday sought a status report from the Uttar Pradesh government regarding the status of the FIR filed in the case and whether any of the accused have been arrested yet.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana and comprising Justices Suryakant and Hima Kohli listed the matter for hearing on Friday after senior advocate Garima Prashad, appearing for the UP government, said the state will file a status report with all details of the case and action taken by it in a day’s time.
“Also (include) the details. We heard that 8 persons died, some of them farmers, one of them a journalist and there are also others. We need to know who are the accused against whom you have registered an FIR and whether you have arrested them or not. Please state that also in the status report,” Justice Surya Kant said.
The court, on Wednesday, had registered a PIL regarding the Lakhimpur Kheri incidents following a letter written to it by two UP-based advocates Shiv Kumar Tripathi and C S Panda.
Though it was registered as a suo motu matter, meaning that the court had by itself taken cognisance of the incident, CJI N V Ramana clarified that it was not so. He said that the matter was directed to be registered on the basis of the letter from the lawyers but the Registry had registered it as suo motu. “I think there is a communication problem,” the CJI said, while adding that it will however hear it.
“I hope the court will consider it will very seriously. Number of farmers have died due to negligence of administration…Please take appropriate action regarding this issue,” Tripathi told the bench.
The counsel argued that there were human rights violations happening “in this country and UP” and alleged that the state had not taken any steps to assuage the feelings of the farmers.
When CJI Ramana asked him as to why he had filed this letter petition, he said, “I did it so that the court directs the respondents to register the FIR against those who involved in this matter.” He added that the “farmers are suffering and (were) also afraid of the government”.
However, the CJI pointed out that the police had already registered an FIR.
The bench then turned to Prashad who said “it was an unfortunate incident that had taken place”. “We also feel the same way. 8 people lost their lives”, the CJI said.
Prashad added that an SIT had already been constituted and the entire incident would be properly looked into if the court permits.
“The grievance is that you are not properly investigating and registering the FIR. What can you say on that?” the CJI asked.
Prashad replied that she will place all details before the court on Friday and added that a Commission of Inquiry had also been set up under a retired judge of the high court to probe the incidents.
The CJI then inquired about the status of the PIL filed before Allahabad HC in this connection. “Please also tell us what happened to the PIL before the Allahabad High Court,” he told Prashad.
During the hearing, the court was also informed that mother of one of the deceased farmers is in critical condition because of the shock of the loss of her son and was in need of immediate medical assistance. The bench directed the state government to provide her the necessary medical aid.
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