SC asks UP govt to stop dragging its feet in Lakhimpur violence case
New Delhi/UNI: The Supreme Court Wednesday asked the Uttar Pradesh government to stop dragging its feet in the probe into the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case even as the state authorities sought time to furnish more details on record in the matter.
"You (Uttar Pradesh) have to stop dragging your feet in the case," a bench comprising Chief Justice of India N V Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli said, while hearing the case.
Harish Salve, senior lawyer and former Solicitor General (SG), who appeared for the Uttar Pradesh government, conveyed to the apex court that "we have filed a status report" in the matter.
To this, CJI Ramana said, "Yesterday we waited till late night for the status report, but the irony is that we have just now received it..."
After going through the status report, the bench asked the state government as to "how many witnesses you have examined".
Salve replied that 44 witnesses have been examined so far.
Four persons are in police custody and 10 are in judicial custody, the lawyer said, when asked about the status of the accused.
Garima Parshad, senior law officer, submitted that the crime scene was reconstituted and a thorough probe was carried out.
After the hearing, the court posted the matter to Oct 26.
During the proceedings, the bench asked the SIT, probing the case, to record statements of other witnesses under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). Statements under this section are recorded before a magistrate.
The court was hearing the petition after it converted letters written by two lawyers to a public interest litigation (PIL) in the matter.
Nine people were killed in the violence. Several people, including Ashish Mishra, son of Union Minister Ajay Mishra, have been arrested in connection with the case.