The Supreme Court bench said that the four accused in another case of the murder of three people traveling in an SUV that allegedly ran over farmers should also be released on interim bail on furnishing a bond to the satisfaction of the trial court.
The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted interim bail for eight weeks to Union Minister Ajay Kumar Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra in the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence case. A bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice JK Maheshwari directed that Ashish Mishra would neither be able to reside in Uttar Pradesh nor Delhi during the period of interim bail. The Supreme Court bench said, “The petitioner is directed to be released on interim bail, initially for eight weeks, on furnishing a bond to the satisfaction of the trial court.” to make the statement, the petitioner is directed to leave the State of Uttar Pradesh within a week from the date of his release on interim bail to keep him away from any kind of direct or indirect influence.”
The apex court said that Ashish will surrender his passport to the lower court and will enter Uttar Pradesh only to attend trial court hearings. The bench said, “Any attempt by the petitioner, his family or supporters to influence or threaten the witnesses directly or indirectly, will lead to cancellation of interim bail.” Within a week, he will inform the lower court and the concerned police station at which place he will stay during the period of interim bail. The bench said that he would mark his attendance once a week at the police station under whose jurisdiction his place of residence during the period of interim bail would fall.
The bench said that the four accused in another case of murder of three persons traveling in an SUV that allegedly ran over farmers, also be released on interim bail on furnishing a bond to the satisfaction of the trial court. The bench said that there are two separate FIRs regarding the incident giving different chronology of events and the question of who are the assailants or responsible in the “unfortunate horrendous incident” can be ascertained only after the trial is over. The bench directed the trial court to give priority to the testimony of the protected witnesses and thereafter record the statement of other important witnesses.
The bench directed that the accused and their counsel shall extend full cooperation to the trial court during the trial proceedings. The bench also directed the trial court to send progress reports to the top court along with details of witnesses produced on each date. The bench listed the matter for March 14 for further directions.
Let us remind you that eight people were killed in the violence on October 3, 2021, during farmers’ protest against the visit of the then Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya to Tikunia in Lakhimpur Kheri district. According to the Uttar Pradesh Police FIR, four farmers were run over by an SUV and Ashish was sitting in this SUV. Following the incident, the driver of the SUV and two Bharatiya Janata Party workers were allegedly beaten to death by angry farmers. A journalist also died in the violence. The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court had rejected the bail plea of Ashish Mishra on July 26 last year, following which he challenged the order in the Supreme Court.
Apart from Ashish Mishra, 12 other accused in this case are Ankit Das, Nandan Singh Bisht, Latif Kale, Satyam alias Satya Prakash Tripathi, Shekhar Bharti, Sumit Jaiswal, Ashish Pandey, Lavkush Rana, Shishu Pal, Ullas Kumar alias Mohit Trivedi, Rinku Rana. and Dharmendra Banjara.