Lakhimpur violence: SC seeks time needed for trial of Ashish Mishra

Earlier, the SC had appointed a committee headed by retired Punjab and Haryana high court judge Rakesh Kumar Jain to monitor the probe into the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of IndiaFile

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the trial court to indicate how much time is likely to be needed to conclude the trial in the Lakhimpur violence case against Ashish Mishra.

The court also sought to know how long the accused can be kept in jail.

A bench of Justice Surya Kant and Krishna Murari directed the Registrar General of the Supreme Court to communicate from the first Additional Sessions Judge at Lakhimpur Kheri and to find out how much time the trial of Lakhimpur violence case is likely to take without compromising with another pending matter.

The Supreme Court was hearing the plea filed by Ashish Mishra challenging the Allahabad High Court order which denied bail to him in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case.

During the hearing, the court asked how to balance the interests of justice and society together here and said that if we keep him behind bars, we are not pre-supposing guilt. The court also remarked that the protection of witnesses has to continue and the fairness of the trial must not be compromised.

Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh Government said that the case is of serious nature. Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Mishra, said that his client was not present on the spot during the incident and he was attending the 'dangal' (wrestling) in some other place.

The court sought to know the distance between the 'dangal' and the incident place. The lawyer replied that it is 4 km. The court also sought to know how long Mishra has been kept behind the jail. The lawyer responded that he has remained in jail for more than a year.

The court also sought to know how many witnesses have been cited by the prosecution in the case. The lawyer replied that there are 200 prosecution witnesses in the case.

The court remarked on how long the accused should be kept behind the bar and how to make a balance between the right accused and the victim.

Apart from being accused and victim, society has a lot of interest in this case How to balance the right between all these aspects, the court said. Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the family members of the deceased, said that the accused's father had said that he would teach a lesson and witnesses are being attacked.

He also said that these are powerful people and "if someone can kill merely because they are agitating, then nobody is safe in a democracy."

The court has listed the matter for further hearing in January next year. Ashish Mishra, the son of Union Minister Ajay Mishra, has moved Supreme Court challenging Allahabad High Court which denied bail to him in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case On July 26, the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday denied bail to Ashish Mishra, the son of Union Minister Ajay Mishra, in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case.

The bail was rejected by the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court. The said order is challenged by Ashish Mishra in the Supreme Court filed through advocate on record T. Mahipal. Four farmers died in the Lakhimpur case, and the accused and the accused's car was present there.

This is the biggest fact, this case comes under the category of a heinous crime, said the High Court. Mishra is facing a case of murder for the incident that took place on October 3, 2021, in which eight people, including four farmers, were killed in Lakhimpur Kheri.

Mishra allegedly ran over the farmers protesting against the Centre's three farm Laws. He was arrested on October 9 and granted bail in February 2022. Mishra again moved to the High Court as the Court's earlier order was set aside by the Supreme Court in April 2022 and had ordered fresh consideration of his bail plea.

The top court earlier had set aside the Allahabad High Court order dated February 10, 2022, and remitted the matter back to the High Court. The top court had said that the order of the Allahabad High Court cannot be sustained and has to be set aside and the bail bonds of the respondent/accused are cancelled.

The Court had directed Ashish Mishra to surrender within a week. Family members of the victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident moved the Supreme Court challenging the Allahabad High Court order, which granted bail to Ashish Mishra. The top court cancelled Mishra's bail.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had appointed a committee headed by retired Punjab and Haryana high court judge Rakesh Kumar Jain to monitor the probe into the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.

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