Lakhimpur Kheri violence: SC cancels Ashish Mishra’s bail
The top court asked the Allahabad high court to decide his bail plea afresh after giving due hearing to the victim’s families
The Supreme Court on Monday cancelled the bail granted to Ashish Mishra, the son of Union minister Ajay Mishra ‘Teni’, underlining the Allahabad high court considered “irrelevant factors” and showed “unwarranted hurry” in granting the relief to the main accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case.
A bench, led by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, directed Mishra to surrender within a week. It asked the high court to decide his bail plea afresh after giving due hearing to the victim’s families, who complained of not being provided sufficient opportunity to oppose the bail plea.
The bench, which also included justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, held it was incumbent upon the high court to grant a hearing to the next of kin of those killed in the violence at every stage until the trial gets over. It said the high court erroneously relied heavily on the first information report at the time of allowing Mishra’s bail plea even as the charge sheet in the case had been filed.
Eight people were killed in the violence on October 3, 2021. Four farmers and a journalist were run over by a car allegedly belonging to Mishra. In the ensuing violence, three people – two political workers and a driver – were killed.On November 17, the bench set up a new Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the violence and included three Indian Police Service officers in it.The top court, which initiated suo motu (on its own motion) proceedings into the matter, also appointed former Punjab and Haryana high court judge Rakesh Kumar Jain to monitor the probe into the violence.
It pointed out that the high court erroneously relied on the first information report instead of the charge sheet which clearly mentioned that the cars involved in the incident were driven at speed of 70-100 kmph as it approached the protesting farmers