Lakhimpur Kheri violence: SC issues notice to UP Govt on Ashish Mishra's plea seeking bail
The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court had on July 26 rejected the bail plea of Mishra
The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought a response from the Uttar Pradesh government on a plea filed by Ashish Mishra, son of Union Minister Ajay Mishra, seeking bail in a case related to Lakhimpur Kheri violence in which eight persons had died.
The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court had on July 26 rejected the bail plea of Mishra.
His plea challenging the high court order came up for hearing before a bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and M M Sundresh.
"We are issuing notice," the bench said and posted the matter for hearing on September 26.
On October 3 last year, eight people were killed in Lakhimpur Kheri during violence that erupted when farmers were protesting against Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya's visit to the area.
Four farmers were mowed down by an SUV, in which Ashish Mishra was seated, according to the UP Police FIR.
Following the incident, the driver and two BJP workers were allegedly lynched by angry farmers.
A journalist also died in the violence that triggered outrage among opposition parties and farmer groups agitating over the Centre's now-repealed agricultural reform laws.
During the hearing before the apex court, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Mishra, referred to the incident and said the man who had lodged one of the FIRs in the matter had said that the accused was sitting in the vehicle and he was not driving it.
He said that driver of the car was physically pulled out of the vehicle and was assaulted along with two others and they died.
"The man who lodged that report saying that I (Mishra) was in the car and I ran away shooting in the air etc. ultimately said that he was not an eye-witness," Rohatgi said.
He told the bench that Mishra was earlier granted bail in the case as there was no direct allegation that he drove the car and mowed down people.
The senior advocate said that later, the complainant side had come to the apex court and the bail granted to Mishra was cancelled.
On April 18 this year, the top court cancelled the bail granted to Mishra in the case and asked him to surrender in a week, saying the 'victims' were denied "a fair and effective hearing" in the Allahabad High Court which adopted a "myopic view of the evidence".
It had remanded the bail application for fresh adjudication "in a fair, impartial and dispassionate manner, and keeping in view the settled parameters" within three months after taking note of relevant facts and the fact that the victims were not granted a complete opportunity of being heard.
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