Supreme Court takes suo motu cognisance of Lakhimpur Kheri violence

A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana will hear the suo motu case on October 7

October 06, 2021 10:25 pm | Updated October 07, 2021 01:21 am IST - NEW DELHI

The Supreme Court rarely takes up issues or incidents on its own motion

The Supreme Court rarely takes up issues or incidents on its own motion

 

In a significant move, the Supreme Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognisance of the Lakhimpur Kheri violence and deaths, and listed the case for hearing in the next 24 hours.

A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana will hear the suo motu case on Thursday.

The CJI will be flanked by Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli on the Bench.

Eight people have died, four of whom were reportedly farmers who were mowed down by a vehicle which was part of the convoy of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Ajay Kumar Mishra, in Lakhimpur Kheri in north-central Uttar Pradesh. A journalist was also among the eight who died.

The top court rarely takes up issues or incidents on its own motion unless they are of such consequence or seriousness that ignoring them would affect public interest, basic rights and the conscience of the country.

The court’s decision to take up the case, now titled ‘In re: Violence in Lakhimpur Kheri (UP) leading to loss of life’ comes just 48 hours after a Bench of the court lashed out at farmers’ bodies, connecting their nearly year-long protests against farm laws to the violence that occurred in Lakhimpur Kheri.

 

That Bench, led by Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, had said that “ nobody takes responsibility ” when incidents like Lakhimpur Kheri occurred.

“When such incidents happen, causing deaths, loss to property and damage, nobody takes responsibility,” Justice Khanwilkar had observed on October 4.

Attorney General K.K. Venugopal, for the Centre, had described the Lakhimpur Kheri violence on Sunday an “unfortunate incident”.

“No more unfortunate incidents like this should take place... The protests must stop,” Mr. Venugopal, supported by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, had submitted.

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