Thursday, March 30, 2023

Lakhimpur Kheri violence: Uttar Pradesh govt files reply in plea against bail granted to Ashish Mishra

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The Uttar Pradesh government on Tuesday apprised the Supreme Court that the decision regarding the challenge to bail granted to Ashish Mishra in the Lakhmipur Kheri case of October 2021 was “pending consideration before the relevant authorities”.

While filing a counter-affidavit before the Apex Court, in response to the petition of family members of the victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident against the Allahabad High Court verdict, the government rejected the allegation that it had not effectively opposed Mishra’s bail before the High Court.

The government response was filed by the Joint Secretary to the Home Department of the UP Government.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear the matter tomorrow.

On March 16, the Supreme Court had directed the Uttar Pradesh government to file a detailed affidavit on Lakhimpur Kheri incident, narrating the steps taken to protect the witnesses and also explain why bail granted to accused Ashish Mishra should be not cancelled.

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The order was passed by the Apex Court on a petition challenging the bail granted to Ashish Mishra, son of Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni, by the Allahabad High Court in the case involving the killing of eight people, including four farmers, after they were mowed down by an SUV belonging to the Union Minister’s son in Lakhimpur Kheri district, during a farmers protest last year.

The court was earlier informed by Senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing the victims’ families, that the matter had not been on the list of business, while there was an attack on one of the prime witnesses of the case as he sought an urgent hearing.

The family members of those who had died, have challenged the High Court’s order dated February 10, 2022. Calling the order ‘unsustainable in law,’ the petitioners said that they have approached the Supreme Court as the state government failed to file appeal against the High Court order regarding the bail.

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The impugned order is unsustainable in eyes of law as there has been no meaningful and effective assistance by the State to the court in the matter contrary to the object of the first Proviso to Section 439 of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, which provides that in grave offences notice of bail application should ordinarily be given to the public, the petition stated.

“Contrary to settled law, the High Court failed to form its opinion on the basis of the charge sheet on broad probabilities and has instead gone on the basis of far-fetched imaginary possibilities”

-it said.

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