Supreme Court notice to UP govt on plea for cancellation of Ashish Mishra's bail in Lakhimpur Kheri case : The Tribune India

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Supreme Court notice to UP govt on plea for cancellation of Ashish Mishra's bail in Lakhimpur Kheri case

Bench led by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana directs UP govt to ensure witnesses are protected

Supreme Court notice to UP govt on plea for cancellation of Ashish Mishra's bail in Lakhimpur Kheri case

Ashish Mishra in custody. PTI file



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, March 16

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh government on a petition filed by the family members of farmers killed in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence, seeking cancellation of bail granted to Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni's son and prime accused Ashish Mishra by the Allahabad High Court.

Taking a serious note of the alleged attack on a witness in the case, a Bench led by Chief Justice of India NV Ramana also directed the UP government to ensure that witnesses were protected.

“You have to see that witnesses are protected," the CJI said, asking the State of UP to respond to the petition challenging the February 10 order of the Allahabad High Court granting bail to Ashish Mishra.

On behalf of the petitioners, senior Advocate Dushyant Dave questioned the legality of the high court order, saying it went against the principles of grant of bail.

The Bench was hearing a petition filed by family members of deceased farmers who were mowed down by a car belonging to Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni's son, Ashish Mishra, at Lakhimpur Kheri.

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. Two BJP workers and a driver were beaten to death allegedly by angry protesters. A local journalist was also killed in the violence.

Family members of farmers killed in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence had on February 21 moved the Supreme Court challenging the February 10 order of the Allahabad High Court enlarging Ashish Mishra on bail.

The family members of the murdered farmers said they filed the petition against the high court's order "as the State of Uttar Pradesh where the political party of the accused and his father is in power has failed to file appeal against the impugned order".

The bail order has “manifest error” as the high court has rested its reasoning on “presumption and guesswork” using the word “might” to arrive at a conclusion that the said crime culminated in a possibility of the driver trying to speed up the vehicle to save himself, they had submitted.

The petition by family members of the deceased farmers termed the bail as "an improper and arbitrary exercise of the discretion" by the high court.

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