NEW DELHI: Former SCBA president Dushyant Dave praised Chief Justice of India N V Ramana for "leading" the Supreme Court "from the front" and for his "remarkable intervention" in the October 3 Lakhimpur Kheri incident in which eight people were killed as violence erupted during a farmers' protest.
The CJI-led bench, which took suo motu cognizance of the incident, did not mince words and expressed dissatisfaction over steps taken by the Uttar Pradesh government, questioned the non-arrest of accused Ashish Mishra, directed preservation of evidence, and mulled transferring probe to another agency.
Dave, who has been critical of some predecessors of the incumbent CJI, was effusive in his praise for Justice Ramana, saying the judicial intervention was "remarkable" and that the CJI acted extremely responsible and in a restrained manner over the last two days of hearings in the case.
In an interview to a web portal, Dave, who was the president of Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), said the CJI has sent out a positive message to citizens through the case hearing and that "the court is being led from the front" by him.
Extolling CJI Ramana, the senior advocate said he has done remarkable work in the last few months and "clearly proved he is true to his constitutional oath" unlike his four predecessors who had "failed to discharge their constitutional duties".
"The Supreme Court has proved that it truly is sentinel on the qui vive and truly a watchful guardian of the citizens. There is no doubt in my mind that the Supreme Court's intervention has been remarkable and is absolutely essential, done at the right time," Dave said on being asked about the Lakhimpur Kheri case during the interview to the news website.
In the hearing on October 8, Justice Ramana-led bench said, "The law must take its course against all accused and the government has to take all remedial steps in this regard to inspire confidence in the investigation of brutal murder of eight persons.
" Dave lauded the apex court, saying that it achieved a lot without passing any orders against the Uttar Pradesh government by clearly indicating that it is displeased with what has happened, and therefore "if the government does not act, it will pass further orders".
The senior advocate further said the Uttar Pradesh government and the Director General of Police, in particular, have been told very firmly what the court expects of them.
The top court has posted the matter for hearing on October 20.
Four farmers were mowed down by an SUV in Lakhimpur Kheri when a group agitating against the Centre's three new farm laws was demonstrating against the visit of UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya on October 3.
Two BJP workers and a driver were allegedly beaten to death by the angry protesters, while a local journalist was also killed in the violence.