Noting that Ashish had been booked under IPC Sec 302 (murder), CJI NV Ramana’s bank and Judges Surya Kant and Hima Kohli He said he is not satisfied with the action taken and that the state’s claims appear to be “only in words.” He added: “We hope that (the state) will take the necessary measures.”
Defender Harish Salve, who ran for the UP government, admitted that there were lapses on the part of the administration and said that “what they have done is a blunder.” Corrective measures will be taken, he assured the court.
The SC also opposed the composition of the SIT, saying that only local policemen are part of it. He said he will study other modes of investigation. A CBI investigation is not a solution due to “some reasons,” the SC said, perhaps because senior Mishra is a central minister.
Is this how the other defendants are treated? SC
The court wondered when the violence and the loss of eight lives constituted a serious case, why the state authorities did not act in the way they should. “Is the way defendants are treated in other cases (murder cases) as well: issue a notice for them to appear and not arrest them,” the court said, adding that there are “direct statements” from witnesses face-to-face in the case. His message: All defendants should be treated the same, regardless of their background.
The police must act responsibly and sensitively in handling the Lakhimpur Kheri case to inspire trust among the people, the SC said.
The magistracy expressed its surprise at the state police who summoned the defendants to appear before it for such a serious crime instead of arresting them. His comments followed Salve saying that a notice had been issued to the defendants, including Ashish Mishra.
Salve agreed that there is a very strong case against “the young man” (Mishra) and the charges against him are very serious. He said a notice was sent to him because the postmortem report did not show any gunshot wounds. He said the defendants were asked to appear before 11 am on Saturday, otherwise, he will be subjected to the “rigors of the law,” implying that he may be detained.
While it postponed the hearing to October 20, when it will further examine the actions of the state government before approving the orders, the court said the state must take all steps to protect the evidence.