Lakhimpur Kheri case: Supreme Court appoints Former judge to ensure impartial probe

"We appoint Rakesh Kumar Jain (retired judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court) to ensure absolute impartiality in the investigation of the case," a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana said. The Supreme Court also said that the SIT will continue to investigate the case and ordered the Uttar Pradesh government to include three senior IPS officers, including a female officer Padmaja Chauhan, present IG of Uttar Pradesh In the SIT. The SIT will be supervised by Justice Jain. The top court said it will list the matter after the charge sheet is filed in the case. 

The Supreme Court on Wednesday appointed retired High Court judge Rakesh Kumar Jain to monitor the Lakhimpur Kheri violence probe to ensure fairness and independence in the investigation. Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain is the former judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court.

"We appoint Rakesh Kumar Jain (retired judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court) to ensure absolute impartiality in the investigation of the case," a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana said.

The Supreme Court also said that the SIT will continue to investigate the case and ordered the Uttar Pradesh government to include three senior IPS officers, including a female officer Padmaja Chauhan, present IG of Uttar Pradesh In the SIT. The SIT will be supervised by Justice Jain. The top court said it will list the matter after the charge sheet is filed in the case.

On November 15, the Supreme Court had said it will also consider the names of some retired apex court judge or high court judge to monitor day-to-day investigation in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence incident.

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The court also instructed the Uttar Pradesh government to upgrade the SIT which is investigating the matter by some high-ranking officials.


Senior advocate Harish Salve, representing the Uttar Pradesh government, submitted that the top court can appoint a retired judge to monitor the SIT probe. The top court said, "Now, we have a lot of freedom for a retired SC or HC judge. Let us see..." The bench had noted that it will find out a judge who is willing to take up the assignment.

During the hearing, the top court emphasized that the UP government should upgrade the task force investigating the matter. It said the officers must be high-ranking officers, currently there are local Lakhimpur Kheri, sub-inspector level and DSP level officers on the task force.

The bench told Salve that it needs one more day's time to finalize the name of the judge. "We are considering Rakesh Kumar Jain (former Punjab and Haryana HC judge) or others. We have to consult them", said the bench.

Salve submitted, "Judge can be appointed from any other state". Earlier, the top court had said it wanted to appoint a judge outside of Uttar Pradesh.

Concluding the hearing, the top court asked the UP government to look into grievances of victim's families, who have not been paid compensation. Additional advocate general Garima Prasad submitted that the state would take necessary steps.

The violence occurred on October 3, resulting in the killing of eight persons, including four farmers who were allegedly mowed down by the vehicles in the convoy of Ashish Misra, the son of Union Minister and BJP MP Ajay Kumar Misra.