New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday cancelled the bail granted to the son of Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni, Ashish Mishra, an accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case and directed him to surrender within a week.
A bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana set aside the Allahabad High Court which granted bail to Ashish Mishra.
The top court held that the Allahabad High Court order is not sustainable. The top court also observed that victims were not heard while considering the bail plea of Ashish Mishra in Allahabad High Court.
The Supreme Court remanded the matter back to the Allahabad High Court to hear the issue afresh.
Earlier, on April 4, a bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana had reserved the order after hearing all the parties.
Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government had said that it is a grave offence but accused Ashish Mishra is not a flight risk.
He further submitted that it is a serious case as five people have died. “It is a matter of trial,” he said.
The apex court was hearing a plea seeking the cancellation of bail of Ashish Mishra, who is the son of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra Teni, granted by the Allahabad High Court on February 10.
The SC-appointed committee has recommended preferring the appeal to cancel the bail of Ashish Mishra.
During the hearing, Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for petitioners, had urged the Supreme Court should set aside the order of the Allahabad High Court granting bail to Mishra. Senior Advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for Ashish Mishra, justified the Allahabad High Court order.
Senior Advocate Jethmalani had submitted that all witnesses are under police protection and there is no possibility of witness tampering.
He had also apprised the Court that the state has vehemently opposed the bail plea of Ashish Mishra in Allahabad High Court.
Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for petitioners, had submitted that the order of Allahabad HC suffered from complete non-application of mind.
Earlier, in an affidavit, the Uttar Pradesh government told the Supreme Court that the state has taken all efforts to protect the witnesses and families of victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident.
The state government had told the Supreme Court that all the witnesses are regularly contacted by the police for appraisal of their security conditions.
The submission of Uttar Pradesh came in an affidavit, replying to the petition seeking to cancel bail to Ashish Mishra.
Uttar Pradesh government told the Supreme Court it had opposed the bail plea of Ashish Mishra in the Allahabad High Court and the submission of the petition that the State did not effectively oppose the bail application of the accused Ashish Mishra is completely untrue.
In the earlier hearing advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner, said that one of the prime protected witnesses was brutally attacked, a few days after bail was granted to Ashish Mishra.
Family members of the victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident moved the Supreme Court challenging the Allahabad High Court order, which granted bail to Ashish Mishra.
In the Special Leave Petition, family members of the deceased challenged the Allahabad High Court order dated February 10, 2022, wherein Ashish Mishra was granted regular bail. The petitioner said that the Allahabad HC order is unsustainable in law. They also said that they have approached the Apex Court as the State of Uttar Pradesh has failed to prefer any appeal against the impugned order.
Ashish Mishra was released from jail in February followed by Allahabad High Court granting him bail. Eight people, including four farmers, died in violence on October 3, 2020, in Lakhimpur Kheri.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had appointed a committee headed by retired Punjab and Haryana high court judge Rakesh Kumar Jain to monitor the probe into the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.