Violence, deaths in Lakhimpur Kheri: the bench led by the CJI intervenes
According to the Supreme Court’s list of supplementary cases, the case was registered as “In Re violence in Lakhimpur Kheri resulting in loss of life”, was registered “by court request” in the category “latest petitions and questions PIL And will come for an admission hearing before a bench by Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli on Thursday.
Sources told The Indian Express that the court took note of the information in the press as well as a letter written to it about the incident.
On Tuesday, two UP-based lawyers, Shiv Kumar Tripathi and CS Panda, wrote to CJI calling for a high-level, judicial-watch investigation into the incident. The letter urged the court to treat it as public interest litigation (PIL) and order the investigation so that the culprits can be “brought to justice.”
However, it was not possible to determine whether the suo motu case had been registered upon reading this letter.
Eight people, including a local journalist, were killed after a jeep hit protesting farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3. While protesters claimed that one of the vehicles was being driven by the son of Union Minister and BJP MP Ajay Kumar Mishra, the minister said his son was not even at the scene and that the incident occurred when the driver lost control after protesters attacked the vehicle.
Four protesters, a journalist, two BJP employees and the driver of the jeep were killed in the incident.
On October 4, the SC, hearing a plea from a farmers’ organization ‘Kisan Mahapanchayat’ asking for permission to organize protests in Jantar Mantar, referred to the Lakhimpur Kheri incidents. A bench, led by Judge AM Khanwilkar, had said that “no one takes responsibility when such events occur”.
Judge Khanwilkar said this when Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing for the Center, noted that “an unfortunate incident occurred yesterday in Lakhimpur”.
The court also questioned the farmers’ organization on what it was protesting against when the three farm laws had already been suspended and were not in force.
“There is no law in place at the moment… it is suspended by the court. The government has assured that it will not give effect to it. The protest is for what? … What is the point of protesting against Jantar Mantar? … You can’t do both – challenge a law and then keep protesting. Either you come to court, or you go to Parliament, or you go to Road… Once the case is pending, how are the protests going to continue on the same issue? »The court had asked the lawyer of the Mahapanchayat.
The bench said it would consider whether someone who has already approached a Constitutional Court to seek redress for a problem has the absolute right to simultaneously demonstrate in the streets over the same problem.
For over a year now, farmer groups have been protesting the passage of three laws: the 2020 Farmers and Trade (Promotion and Facilitation) Act; Essential Products (Amendment) Act 2020; and Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020.