Lakhimpur Kheri violence: SC grants 8 week interim bail to Ashish Mishra, asks him to leave UP

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted an eight-week interim bail to Union minister Ajay Kumar Mishra’s son Ashish in the “unfortunate ghastly incident” of violence in 2021 at Lakhimpur Kheri which claimed eight lives, and directed him to leave Uttar Pradesh within one week of his release from jail.
The apex court, while observing that it was issuing certain interim directions in furtherance of interest of justice and in a way on an “experimental basis” to adjudge as to whether there is any substance in the apprehensions expressed on behalf of the state and the informant, said Ashish Mishra shall not stay either in Uttar Pradesh or in Delhi during the period of interim bail.
A bench of Justices Surya Kant and J K Maheshwari noted that while the state’s counsel had contested the prayer for grant of bail on the ground that a strong prima­ facie case has been made out against Ashish, the advocate representing the informant had contended that he commanded “tremendous influence” in the jurisdiction where the incident had occurred.
The top court exercised its “suo-­moto constitutional powers” and directed that four accused — Guruwinder Singh, Kamaljeet Singh, Gurupreet Singh and Vichitra Singh — who were arrested in connection with a separate FIR lodged over the killing of three occupants of the SUV which allegedly mowed down farmers there, be released on interim bail till further orders. —PTI
“The petitioner (Ashish Mishra) is directed to be released on interim bail initially for a period of eight weeks subject to his furnishing bail bonds to the satisfaction of the trial court,” the bench said.
“With a view to ward off any direct or indirect influence on the material witnesses who are yet to depose, the petitioner is directed to leave the state of Uttar Pradesh within one week from the date of his release on interim bail,” it said.
The bench said any attempt made by Ashish, his family or supporters to influence or threaten the witnesses, directly or indirectly, shall entail cancellation of interim bail.
On October 3, 2021, eight people were killed in Lakhimpur Kheri district’s Tikunia where 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 in the case, four farmers were mowed down by an SUV in which Ashish 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.
In its order, the apex court said Ashish shall surrender his passport to the trial court within one week of his release on interim bail and not enter Uttar Pradesh except to attend the trial proceedings.
It said he shall disclose the place of his residence to the trial court as well as the jurisdictional police station where he would stay during the period of interim bail.
The bench said he shall mark his presence in the jurisdictional police station once a week.


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