December 6, 2021, 9:37 pm
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The UP police are dragging their feet in the Lakhimpur Kheri case :SC

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed concern that the Uttar Pradesh Police was “dragging its feet” in its investigation into the October 3 Lakhimpur Kheri violence, which claimed the lives of eight people, four of whom were farmers protesters who were allegedly mowed down by vehicles in the convoy of Ashish Mishra, the son of Union Minister and BJP MP Ajay Kumar Mishra.

Salve responded that it was most likely due to the courts being closed for Dussehra holidays. The criminal courts, however, will not be closed during the holidays, according to the bench.

Senior Advocate Garima Prashad, who was also representing the State of Uttar Pradesh, stated at this point that the police were reconstructing the crime scene. The bench, however, pointed out that reconstructing the crime scene and recording the statement before the judicial magistrate were two separate things.

“Statement recording under 164 is different! It is being heard by a judicial magistrate. CJI Ramana stated, “Its evidentiary value is far better.”
“We have the impression that you are dragging your feet; please do everything possible to dispel that impression,” Justice Hima Kohli said.

“Under Section 164, you must take steps to record the statements,” CJI Ramana said.

The Special Investigation Team will have to identify vulnerable witnesses, provide them with protection, and have their statements recorded under Section 164 CrPC because it will have more evidentiary value, according to the bench.

“If your SIT can identify which witnesses are the most vulnerable and can be browbeaten, why have only four witness statements been recorded?” Surya Kant, the Chief Justice, inquired.

Mr. Salve stated that a status report had been filed in a sealed cover when the case was taken. The bench expressed displeasure with the “last-minute” filing of the status report.

“We just got the sealed cover in the mail. We waited until 1 a.m. yesterday for any additional material…but there was none,” CJI Ramana said. The bench also stated that it had not requested that the report be sealed.

The bench denied Salve’s request for a postponement until Friday. Following a review of the s, the hearing was resumed.

Finally, the bench set a date for the next hearing on October 26. To assuage the bench’s concerns, Salve promised that the necessary steps for recording Section 164 statements and witness protection would be taken.
The PIL was filed after two lawyers wrote a letter requesting a thorough investigation into the case.
On the last hearing date, October 8, a bench led by the Chief Justice of India expressed dissatisfaction with the Uttar Pradesh Police’s investigation into the case.
The bench denied Salve’s request for a postponement until Friday. Following a review of the same, the hearing was resumed.