The Supreme Court on Wednesday found it hard to dispel the impression that the Uttar Pradesh Government is “dragging its feet” in the Lakhimpur Kheri case in which a Union Minister’s son is accused of mowing down protesting farmers.
three-judge Bench, led by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana, discovered from a status report filed by the Government just minutes before the hearing that only four of 44 witnesses to the brutal incident have given their statements to the judicial magistrate so far.
The incident, which allegedly involves the convoy of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra Teni, occurred on October 3.
A statement recorded by a magistrate under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) is valuable later during trial as corroborative evidence. It can be used to bolster the prosecution case against the accused. Any delay in recording statements under Section 164 CrPC creates room for influencing the witnesses.