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SC refuses to stay judicial probe into farmer's death

1 Apr 2024

New Delhi [India], April 1 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Monday declined to stay the judicial probe ordered by the Punjab and Haryana High Court into the death of a 22-year-old farmer during a clash between farmers and security personnel at the Punjab-Haryana border.

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and KV Viswanathan rejected the contention of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Haryana government, that the police would be demoralised by such an order for a judicial probe.

The bench suggested waiting for the committee's report and stated that the judiciary would take care of the morale of the force and the people as well.

Mehta further referred to the seriousness of the situation during protests and argued that "no one can function like this in front of swords, weapons and tanks.""I am not blaming the agitators but with people armed with lethal weapons, police will not be able to do anything," Mehta told the apex court.

"In public agitation, some kind of miscreant takes undue advantage of the situation," Justice Kant replied.

The Solicitor General further said that 67 policemen were injured during the protests.

The top court has now posted the matter for hearing on April 19.

The Haryana government filed the special leave petition in the apex court on March 11 against the High Court's decision.

The 22-year-old farmer, Shubhkaran Singh, a native of Bathinda in Punjab, lost his life on February 21 during a clash between security personnel and protesting farmers at the Khanauri border. The incident occurred when some protesting farmers attempted to head towards barricades and were stopped by security personnel from crossing the state border and marching to Delhi.

The High Court had formed the Committee headed by retired High Court judge Jaishree Thakur to inquire into the various aspects of the case, saying the investigation regarding the death of Singh cannot be entrusted solely to Punjab or to Haryana for "reasons obvious as both states have several things to cover up."The committee was assisted by Punjab Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Promod Ban and Haryana ADGP Amitabh Singh Dhillon. (ANI)

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