SC orders UP govt to upgrade SIT, include senior officers

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the UP govt to upgrade the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed to probe the Lakhimpur Kheri violence by including high-level officers.

The top court sought names of IPS officers who are of UP cadre but not natives of the state for being included in the SIT.

The UP government, meanwhile, informed the Supreme Court that it can appoint a retired judge to monitor the SIT probe into the October 3 Lakhimpur Kheri incidents – mowing down of 4 farmers, lynching of 3 accused and death of a journalist.

While giving the consent, UP government’s counsel senior advocate Harish Salve said that the state has no issues with the apex court appointing a former judge of its choice to monitor the probe, but the point that he should not be a native of Uttar Pradesh should not bear in the mind as the person concerned is a relevant factor.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana and also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli said, “Now, we have a lot of freedom for a retired SC or HC judge. Let us see…”

The bench noted that it will find out a judge who is willing to take up the assignment.

The apex court, on November 8, had expressed dissatisfaction over the probe and suggested that to infuse “independence, impartiality and fairness” in the ongoing investigation, a former judge of a “different high court” should monitor it on day-to-day basis.

The next hearing in the case will be on Wednesday, when the court is likely to announce the name of the retired judge to monitor the SIT probe.

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