Supreme Court appoints justice (retired) Rakesh Kumar Jain, a former judge of Punjab and Haryana HC, to monitor the Lakhimpur Kheri Violence probe and to ensure fairness and independence.
Three IPS officers - SB Shirodkar, Deepinder Singh & Padmaja Chauhan, have also been inducted in the SIT.
SC will hear the case next after the chargesheet is filed and a report is received from the retired judge.
The Court ordered,
"Justice Jain manned Commission will ensure impartiality and independence of the investigation...The investigation will be by SIT under Justice Jain and matter will be listed after chargesheet is filed."
Justice Jain enrolled as an advocate with the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana in May 1982 and started his legal practice at the district court of Hisar. He was elevated as a judge of the Punjab & Haryana High Court on December 5, 2007, and retired on September 30, 2020.
Today's order was passed in a petition registered on the basis of letters seeking registration of an FIR in the matter as well as punishment of the guilty parties involved in the Lakhimpur Kheri incident, in which farmers protesting against the farm laws in Uttar Pradesh were mowed down by a four-wheeler belonging to Ashish Mishra, son of Union Minister of State Ajay Mishra Teni. Eight people had died as a result of the violence that ensued.
On Monday, the Court stated that it will take a day to figure out the name of the judge who would be supervising the probe into the incident. The Bench hinted that it was thinking of appointing Justice Jain, but indicated that it needed to talk to the judge on his appointment before passing an order.
During a previous hearing of the case on November 8, the Supreme Court had said that it does not have confidence in the judicial commission constituted by Uttar Pradesh government to monitor the probe into the incident. The UP government had constituted a one-man commission of retired Allahabad High Court judge Justice Pradeep Kumar Srivastava to monitor the investigation.
Previously, the Court had expressed its displeasure with the manner in which the Uttar Pradesh government and police were handling the probe into the incident.
Recently, a local court in Uttar Pradesh rejected the bail application of Union minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra, the main accused in the case.