2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence: 'Pendency high', Supreme Court rejects plea for day-to-day trial : The Tribune India

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2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence: 'Pendency high', Supreme Court rejects plea for day-to-day trial

2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence: 'Pendency high', Supreme Court rejects plea for day-to-day trial

Noting that it may affect other pending cases, the Supreme Court on Monday refused to order a day-to-day trial in the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence case in which Union Minister Ajay Kumar Mishra's son Ashish is among the accused facing trial.



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 24

Noting that it may affect other pending cases, the Supreme Court on Monday refused to order a day-to-day trial in the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence case in which Union Minister Ajay Kumar Mishra’s son Ashish is among the accused facing trial.

“Day-to-day trial may not be possible... Other cases are also pending there. It may affect the pending cases,” a Bench led by Justice Surya Kant said. The top court’s observation came after advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing the families of farmers killed in the violence, requested the Bench to ask the trial court to have day-to-day hearing as out of around 200 prosecution witnesses, only three had been examined so far. Bhushan urged the Bench to direct the trial court to examine two prosecution witnesses every week else the trial might go on for 20 years. “That is the precise reason that we have kept this matter pending here,” said the Bench, which had earlier noted that though it’s not monitoring the trial, it’s having an “indirect supervision”. The trial court was scheduled to take up the matter on May 5, it said.

Four farmers were mowed down by an SUV in Lakhimpur Kheri when those against farm laws were holding a demonstration against Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya’s visit on October 3, 2021. In the subsequent violence, two BJP workers, a driver and a journalist were killed. It was alleged that Ashish was sitting in one of the cars.

Noting that the trial in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case was not “slow-paced”, the Supreme Court had on March 14 directed the trial judge concerned to keep it informed about further developments.

After perusing a report sent to it by the trial court, the Bench noted that the trial court appeared to be dealing with the case sincerely and posted the matter for further hearing on July 11. The Bench, which also included Justice JK Maheshwari, clarified that the January 25 interim direction, by which it had granted eight-week interim bail to Ashish, shall continue to operate.

A Lakhimpur Kheri court had on December 6 framed charges against Ashish and 12 others for murder, criminal conspiracy and certain other offences in the case. Virendra Shukla, the 14th accused, has been charged under Section 201 of the IPC for causing disappearance of evidence.

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