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[Ashish Mishra Bail] Possible That Driver Tried To Speed Up Vehicle To Save Himself From Protestors: Allahabad High Court

Sparsh Upadhyay
10 Feb 2022 11:22 AM GMT
[Ashish Mishra Bail] Possible That Driver Tried To Speed Up Vehicle To Save Himself From Protestors: Allahabad High Court
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The Allahabad High Court today granted bail to Ashish Mishra, the son of Union Minister Ajay Mishra 'Teni', who is the prime accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri Violence case. The Court noted that there might be a possibility that the driver (of Thar) tried to speed up the vehicle to save himself, on account of which, the incident had taken place. Mishra is facing a case of Murder for an...

The Allahabad High Court today granted bail to Ashish Mishra, the son of Union Minister Ajay Mishra 'Teni', who is the prime accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri Violence case. The Court noted that there might be a possibility that the driver (of Thar) tried to speed up the vehicle to save himself, on account of which, the incident had taken place.

Mishra is facing a case of Murder for an incident that took place on October 3, 2021, when four protesting farmers were killed after they were mowed down by an SUV, in which Mishra was allegedly sitting.

After reserving the verdict in Mishra's bail plea last month, the bench of Justice Rajiv Singh finally delivered the order today granting him bail. Mishra had moved the High Court after he was denied bail by the Local Court.

The facts in brief

It was alleged in the FIR that while the protestors were holding protests against the visit of Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya to the Lakhimpur Kheri district, Mishra, who was sitting on the left side in the Thar Mahindra vehicle, started firing and his vehicle, which was moving ahead at high speed, crushed the crowd. 

The further allegation made in the F.I.R. was that due to firearm injury, one Gurvinder Singh had died on the spot. Thereafter, the two vehicles including the vehicle of Mishra overturned in the side ditch of the road, as a result, some pedestrians also received injuries. Thereafter, Mishra ran away from the spot by taking the cover of his firing. 

The observations of the Court

The Court, in its order, categorically observed that primarily, only two allegations had been leveled against Mishra - firstly, of causing firearm injury to the deceased person and secondly – of provoking his driver to crush the protesters.

Regarding the first allegation, the Court observed that no firearm injury had been found on the body of the deceased or any other person, except the injury of the hitting from the vehicle.

Further, on the question of hitting the protestors, the Court opined thus:

"…in case, the story of the prosecution is accepted, thousands of protesters gathered at the place of incident and there might be a possibility that the driver tried to speed up the vehicle to save himself, on account of which, the incident had taken place."

Importantly, while considering the overall facts of the case, the Court observed that it cannot shut its eyes to the killing of three persons sitting in the Thar vehicle, including the driver, who were killed by the protesters.

The Court also noted that the photograph available in the case diary clearly revealed the brutality of the protesters, who were beating the said three persons, namely, Hariom Mishra, Shubham Mishra, and Shyam Sunder.

The Court also took into account the conclusion arrived at by the Investigating Officer of the case that after the said incident of hitting of the protesters by the Thar vehicle, the protesters had chased Shubham Mishra, Hariom Mishra, and Shyam Sunder and they were beaten brutally, on account of which, they died.

Lastly, since many protestors who have been accused of killing the persons sitting in Thar have not been recognized, the Court said that it was expected from the Organisers of the protest to assist in the investigation and provide the details of the rest of the accused persons.

In these circumstances, the Court granted bail to Ashish Mishra @ Monu, while observing thus:

"Considering the facts and circumstances of the case in toto, it is evident that as per the F.I.R., role of firing was assigned to the applicant for killing the protesters, but during the course of investigation, no such firearm injuries were found either on the body of any of the deceased or on the body of any injured person. Thereafter, the prosecution alleged that the applicant provoked the driver of the vehicle for crushing the protesters, however, the driver along with two others, who were in the vehicle, had been killed by the protesters. It is further evident that during the course of investigation, notice was issued to the applicant and he appeared before the Investigating Officer. It is also evident that the charge sheet has already been filed. In such circumstances, this Court is of the view that the applicant is entitled to be released on bail."
Case title - Ashish Mishra @ Monu v. State of U.P.
Case citation: 2022 LiveLaw (AB) 43

Click Here To Read/Download Order

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