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The top court has asked for a tentative schedule for affirming the time it will take to conclude the trial against the Lakhimpur Kheri violence accused, without compromising on the schedule to conclude other pending cases
The Supreme Court has directed the Registrar (Judicial) to enquire the expected time it will take to complete trial from the first additional sessions judge at Lakhimpur Kheri in the case against Ashish Mishra and 12 others. The State of Uttar Pradesh has also been directed to file an additional affidavit stipulating the pace of the investigation in the case.
A bench of Justices Surya Kant & Krishna Murari contemplated on the need to balance rights of the accused persons behind the Lakhimpur Kheri tragedy of October 3, 2021 in which a vehicle rammed into a farmers’ protest against the three farm laws passed by the Union Government, killing two BJP workers, a driver and a journalist, with those of the victims and witnesses. Court was hearing the bail plea of Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni's son, Ashish Mishra, who is the prime accused in the case and who is in jail since October 10, 2021.
“The accused also has rights just as the victims, how long can he be kept in jail?", the bench said. State of Uttar Pradesh AAG Garima Parshad on the other hand stated that the crime was a serious one and that the trial was ongoing, she opposed the bail plea of Mishra.
Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for Ashish Mishra told Court that the material on record which has been brought on record by the SIT looking into the crime showed that Mishra was not driving the car and it was the driver who rammed the vehicle. "Ashish Mishra was not even there," Rohatgi said.
Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave appearing for the families of the victims told Court that there was no reason made out to grant bail to Mishra because of the crime which he was accused of. "This is a heinous crime, these people are powerful and they did what they did because they are powerful," he said.
Ashish Mishra is one of the 13 accused persons who have been held for murder, criminal conspiracy and certain other offences in the violence case.
The Supreme Court had issued notice to the Uttar Pradesh Government on Ashish’s bail plea on September 6 and had and asked the Uttar Pradesh Government to respond to his petition seeking bail, in which he had challenged the denial of bail to him by Allahabad High Court on July 26.
On April 18, the Supreme Court had cancelled the bail given to Ashish Mishra by the Allahabad High Court. Earlier, the bail pleas of Mishra and two others had been rejected by the Lakhimpur Kheri District and Sessions court on November 15, 2021.
The case is being investigated by a Special Investigation Team which is being monitored by Justice (Retd) Rakesh Kumar Jain of Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Case Title: Ashish Mishra @ Monu Vs State of Uttar Pradesh
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