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Lakhimpur Kheri trial may take 5 years: Sessions Judge

Relief eludes Ashish as bail plea hearing deferred

Lakhimpur Kheri trial may take 5 years: Sessions Judge

Relief eluded Lakhimpur Kheri accident case main accused and Union Home Minister Ajay Mishra Teni's son Ashish Mishra yet again on Wednesday as the Supreme Court deferred the hearing on his bail plea to January 19 as senior advocate Dushyant Dave, representing the victims, was indisposed.



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, January 11

Relief eluded Lakhimpur Kheri accident case main accused and Union Home Minister Ajay Mishra Teni’s son Ashish Mishra yet again on Wednesday as the Supreme Court deferred the hearing on his bail plea to January 19 as senior advocate Dushyant Dave, representing the victims, was indisposed.

A Sessions Judge, conducting the trial in the case, told a Bench led by Justice Surya Kant that it might take around five years to conclude the trial in the normal course in view of the fact that there were 208 prosecution witnesses, 171 documents and 27 forensic science laboratory (FSL) reports to be examined. “He (trial judge) says that in the normal course, it may take five years,” said the Bench, which also included Justice V Ramasubramanian.

Maintaining that a balance had to be struck between the rights of the victims and those of the accused, the Supreme Court had on December 12 wondered how long the accused could be kept in jail.

On Wednesday, it deferred the hearing to January 19 after advocate Prashant Bhushan told the Bench that senior counsel Dushyant Dave, who used to represent the victims, was unwell. Alleging that some witnesses had been attacked and some others threatened, Bhushan demanded that the trial could be conducted on a daily basis to conclude it at the earliest. The testimony of the main witnesses and eyewitnesses should be recorded first, he said.

“There will be practical difficulties in that. If you speed this up, this case will have to be tried at the cost of all other cases. That’s why we asked the trial court,” the Bench noted.

“What’s this? Why is my friend (Bhushan) not arguing the bail? Let him argue the bail. You want some time, take it,” senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi said, objecting to Bhushan making submissions after seeking to defer the case.

The Bench sought to know from Additional Advocate General of UP Garima Prashad if those named in the cross-FIR filed over alleged lynching by a farmers’ mob leading to the death of the car driver and two others had been arrested. “We want to know how many of them are in custody?” it asked. Four farmers were mowed down by an SUV in Lakhimpur Kheri when those against farm laws were holding a demonstration against UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya’s visit on October 3, 2021.

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