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Interim bail extended for Ashish Mishra in Lakhimpur Kheri case

Interim bail extended for Ashish Mishra in Lakhimpur Kheri case

The Supreme Court has once again extended the interim bail granted to Ashish Mishra, the son of Union minister Ajay Kumar Mishra, in connection with the tragic events of the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence case. 

In a recent order, a bench comprising Justice Surya Kant and Justice K.V. Viswanathan noted the absence of a report from the trial court following the previous extension granted until September 26, 2023. Consequently, the Court directed the Registry to obtain a report and schedule further proceedings accordingly, while also ordering the continuation of interim directions.

The legal proceedings surrounding Ashish Mishra have been ongoing since the violence that occurred in Lakhimpur Kheri district's Tikunia on October 3, 2021. The incident, which resulted in the deaths of eight individuals, unfolded amidst farmer protests against the then Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya's visit to the area. According to the Uttar Pradesh Police's FIR, the violence escalated when four farmers were allegedly mowed down by an SUV in which Ashish Mishra was seated. Subsequently, the driver of the SUV and two BJP workers were reportedly lynched by enraged farmers, and a journalist also lost his life in the chaos.

In the face of these events, the Supreme Court has been closely monitoring the legal proceedings. Notably, the Court had previously granted interim bail to Ashish Mishra, subject to stringent conditions. These conditions included directives for Mishra to leave Uttar Pradesh within one week of his release from jail, refrain from participating in public functions or interacting with media in Delhi, and surrender his passport to the trial court.

Moreover, the Supreme Court, while acknowledging the importance of expeditious legal proceedings, also recognized the complexities involved. It highlighted the need to balance the speed of the trial with other cases pending before the court. Despite not directly monitoring the trial, the Court asserted its "indirect supervision" and emphasized the importance of regular updates from the sessions judge concerned.

In exercising its "suo-moto constitutional powers," the Court further directed the release on interim bail of four individuals arrested in connection with a separate FIR related to the killing of three occupants of the SUV involved in the incident.

Throughout these proceedings, the Supreme Court has maintained a firm stance against any attempts to influence or threaten witnesses. It has underscored the significance of upholding the integrity of the legal process and ensuring fair trial procedures.

 

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