The Supreme Court decided the former Punjab and Haryana High Court judge, Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain, to take a time-bound investigation into the Lakhimpur Kheri murders and violence in order to “ensure transparency, fairness and absolute impartiality” in its outcome.
“Justice Jain-manned commission will ensure impartiality and independence of the investigation,” the Supreme Court said. “The investigation will be by SIT [Special Investigation Team] under Justice Jain and matter will be listed after chargesheet is filed.”
Justice Jain was elevated as a Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh on December 05, 2007.
During his stint, he passed several noteworthy judgements, including directions to open shops for essential goods during the pandemic, upholding of the prisoner's right to appeal if jail authorities do not register parole application and rejection of plea against commutation of death penalty of Balwant Singh Rajoana, the convict in assassination case of former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh.
The Supreme Court appointed three more police officers – SB Shirodkar, Deepinder Singh and Padmaja Chauhan – to the Special Investigation Team. They all are from outside Uttar Pradesh.
The court said the three senior IPS officers have been hand-picked for the SIT to quell any “lurking suspicion in respect of the fairness and independence of such an investigation”. The overhauling of the SIT was necessary to “preserve the faith and trust of the people in the administration of the criminal justice system”.
The court finally mentioned that Justice Jain’s appointment was meant to assure “full and complete justice to the victims of crime”.