Lakhimpur Kheri case: Supreme Court issues notice to UP government on Ashish Mishra’s bail plea

Matter to be heard on September 26; high court had previously dubbed the killings as "cruel and inhuman"

lakhimpur kheri

On September 6, 2022, the Supreme Court heard the petition filed by Ashish Mishra, the son of Union Minister Ajay Kumar Mishra, challenging the Allahabad High Court order which dismissed his regular bail application.

A bench comprising Justice Indira Banerjee and MM Sundresh issued notice to the State of Uttar Pradesh and asked for a response to be filed by September 26.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohtagi appearing for Mishra, reportedly submitted that allegation was that Mishra mowed down people with the vehicle, but the vehicle was driven by his driver. He argued that out of the two FIRs, it was alleged that Mishra had run out of the car and fired shots from a sugarcane field whereas the first informant eventually said that he was not an eyewitness.

The Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court had granted bail to Ashish on February 10, 2022. But, later the Supreme Court cancelled the bail and directed the high court to decide his bail plea after affording adequate opportunity to the victim side. Accordingly, the high court heard his bail plea afresh and on July 26, 2022. The Allahabad High Court rejected his plea stating that if he was granted bail there are chances that he may influence the witnesses which may affect the trial.

While rejecting their pleas, the high court had observed that the four accused were actively involved in planning and participation of the heinous offence committed in a “cruel and inhuman manner” and as such did not deserve bail.

The bench had further observed, “These four accused and the main accused, Ashish Mishra alias Monu belonged to very influential political families as said and apprehension of the prosecution that they would interfere with the course of justice, tamper with the evidence and influence the witnesses, cannot be ruled out at this stage.”

Ashish Mishra is a co-accused in connection with the killing of four farmers and a journalist at Tikunia in Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh on October 3 last year.

The farmers and the journalist were mowed down by the vehicle. In the ensuing violence, two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers and the driver of a vehicle were also killed by an agitated mob. Two FIRs were lodged in connection with the violence.



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