11 July 2023 10:50 AM GMT
The Supreme Court on Tuesday extended the interim bail granted to Union Minister Ajay Mishra's son, Ashish Mishra in light of the ongoing trial in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case.A division bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice Dipankar Datta took note of the submissions of Sr. Adv Mukul Rohatgi that the trial in the case was going well. “Evidence is going on, several reports have...
The Supreme Court on Tuesday extended the interim bail granted to Union Minister Ajay Mishra's son, Ashish Mishra in light of the ongoing trial in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case.
A division bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice Dipankar Datta took note of the submissions of Sr. Adv Mukul Rohatgi that the trial in the case was going well. “Evidence is going on, several reports have been filed” Rohatgi, representing Ashish Mishra told the Apex Court.
“We are doing whatever we can, we are doing it promptly, we are present. On both sides witnesses are being examined. “ Rohatgi submitted before the Court.
Adv Prashant Bhushan appearing for the victims in the case however, told the Court that if the trial were to be conducted on a day to day basis, it would progress faster, to which Rohatgi responded “there are 100s and 1000s of cases, this one has been expedited by your lordships.”
Rohatgi submitted that one of the prosecution witnesses in the trial did not appear for examination “There was a PW4 on their side who didn’t appear, that we didn’t have any option but not to record evidence. Warrant had to be issued, so he appeared at 1:15 on the last date of hearing, as if the court will wait for him.”
However, the Court said “That happens sometimes, there may be some genuine difficulty with the witness. “
The Court posted the matter to 26th September for further consideration.
The Court has kept Mishra's bail application pending to oversee the progress of the trial and the conduct of the accused.
In the previous hearing, the Court had said that the trial in the case was not ‘slow paced’.
Eight persons lost their lives in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence of October 2021. Four farmers, who were in the group of protesters against the farm laws, were allegedly mowed down by vehicles in the convoy of Ashish Mishra. One journalist also got killed in the incident. The driver of the vehicle and two BJP workers were allegedly lynched by the farmers in the counter-violence. Separate trials are happening in the case and the counter-case.
While granting interim bail to Ashish Mishra, the Supreme Court asked him to leave UP & Delhi and allowed him to enter the state only to attend the trial. The Supreme Court also suo motu granted interim bail to four farmers who are accused in the counter-case. The Court also kept Mishra's bail application pending to oversee the progress of the trial and the conduct of the accused.
Mishra was arrested by the UP Police in October 2021 after the Supreme Court, which had taken suo motu notice of the matter on the basis of a letter petition, criticised the investigation and asked if the police was "dragging its feet" in the case. The Supreme Court later reconstituted the SIT for investigation and appointed a retired High Court judge to monitor the probe,
Initially, the Allahabad High Court had granted bail to Mishra on February 10, 2022, but it was set aside by the Supreme Court in April 2022 after noting that the High Court took into account irrelevant considerations and ignored relevant factors. The bail application was then remanded to the High Court. The Supreme Court's order came in appeal filed by the relatives of the farmers who got killed in the crime.
On July 26, 2022, the High Court dismissed the bail application after re-hearing the matter, following the remand by the Supreme Court.
Case Title: Ashish Mishra Alias Monu v. State of U.P. SLP(Crl) No. 7857/2022
Click Here To Read/Download Order