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'Not be possible to direct trial court to conduct day-to-day hearings in Lakhimpur Case' : Supreme Court

'Not be possible to direct trial court to conduct day-to-day hearings in Lakhimpur Case' : Supreme Court

Today, the Apex Court said that it may not be possible to direct the trial court to conduct day-to-day hearings in the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence case.

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and J K Maheshwari, which perused a letter sent to the Supreme Court by the trial court, observed it appeared that the trial court is dealing with the case sincerely.

Counsel member of the family members of the deceesd, Advocate Prashant Bhushan, requested the bench to ask the trial court to have a day-to-day hearing in the matter, and said out of around 200 prosecution witnesses, only three have been examined so far

"Day-to-day trial may not be possible... other cases are also pending there. It may affect the pending cases," the bench observed.

Mr Bhushan said the trial court may be asked to examine two prosecution witnesses in a week. To this, the bench said the matter is scheduled to be taken up by the trial court on May 5.

The top court, which posted the matter for further hearing on July 11, said the interim direction given earlier by it shall continue to operate.

During the last hearing,  the top court had said the trial in the case was not "slow paced" and directed the sessions judge concerned to keep apprising it about the future developments of the trial.

The top court had observed though it is not monitoring the trial, it is having an "indirect supervision" on it.

It had said the interim direction contained in its January 25 order, by which it had granted eight-week interim bail to Ashish Mishra in the case, shall continue to operate.

On October 3, 2021, eight people were killed in Lakhimpur Kheri district's Tikunia after violence erupted when farmers were protesting against the then Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya's visit to the area.

According to the Uttar Pradesh Police FIR, four farmers were mowed down by an SUV in which Ashish Mishra was seated. Following the incident, the driver of the SUV and two BJP workers were allegedly lynched by angry farmers. A journalist also died in the violence.

The Supreme Court granted bail to the minister’s son on the condition that he will not stay either in Delhi or Uttar Pradesh while he is out on bail.
 
The court further, directed him to leave Uttar Pradesh one week after he releases on bail and inform the concerned court about his location. The bench also said that any attempt by Ashish or his family to influence witnesses and try to delay the trial may lead to the cancellation of his bail.
 
Those killed in Lakhimpur Kheri violence also included a journalist and the driver of the SUV and two BJP workers who were allegedly lynched by angry farmers.
 
The top court in its previous hearing on January 19 had said that the accused should not be “incarcerated” for an indefinite period unless proven guilty of an offence.
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