Supreme Court Appoints Rakesh Kumar Jain To Monitor Investigation To Ensure Transparency

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday appointed Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain, a former judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, to supervise the Uttar Pradesh SIT’s probe on day-to-day basis into the Lakhimpur Kheri violence in which eight people including four farmers were killed on October 3.

“Justice Jain-manned commission will ensure impartiality and independence of the investigation,” the Supreme Court said.  “The investigation will be by SIT [Special Investigation Team] under Justice Jain and matter will be listed after chargesheet is filed”, reported Bar and Bench. 

A bench comprising Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli also took note of the names of the IPS officers provided by the state government and reconstituted the Special Investigation Team (SIT) by naming 3 senior IPS officers, SB Shirodkar, Deepinder Singh and Padmaja Chauhan as a part of the team, reported PTI.

The top court said that it will hear the case next after the chargesheet is filed and a report is received from the retired judge.

The Uttar Pradesh government on November 15 had agreed to the apex court’s suggestion that a former judge of its choice may be appointed to supervise the state SIT’s probe.

Eight people, including four farmers, were killed in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3 in violence that erupted during a farmers’ protest.

Thirteen people, including Union Minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra, have so far been arrested in connection with the incident.

Farmers have been protesting at different sites since November 26 last year against the three enacted farm laws: Farmers” Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. The Supreme Court of India had put a stay on the implementation of these laws in January 2021.

Farmer leaders and the Centre have held several rounds of talks but the impasse remains.

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