Today's hearing before the Supreme Court in the case relating to the Lakhimpur Kheri violence witnessed an interesting exchange between the judges on the Bench and the counsel appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government on the practice of submitting reports in sealed covers..When the matter was taken up for hearing, Senior Counsel Harish Salve, appearing for the UP government, said that the State had filed a status report in sealed cover. Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said that there was no need to file the report in sealed cover, and also pointed out that the Bench received the report just before the hearing. "No, that was not required and we have just received it now. We waited till 1 AM last night for any filing, but we received nothing," said the CJI.Justice Surya Kant, who was also on the Bench, added that the Court had never asked that the report be filed in a sealed cover."We never said anything about sealed covers," he said..The Court nevertheless declined the request by petitioner Advocate Shiv Kumar Tripathi to access the report for the time being. "This is a sensitive matter...let us see. It is nothing secret. But let us see next Wednesday," the Court said, while adjourning the matter to October 26..In the recent past, the Supreme Court has copped some criticism for adopting the "sealed cover" practice in sensitive cases like the Rafale scam. Critics have pointed out that such a practice goes against the open court system followed in India, and also deprives the opposite party of a fair opportunity to respond to arguments made by the party making submissions in sealed covers..Read more on today's hearing in Lakhimpur Kheri case here.