Lakhimpur Kheri case: SC grants interim bail to Ashish Mishra
The Supreme Court on Wednesday (January 25) granted interim bail for eight weeks to Ashish Mishra, son of Union Minister Ajay Mishra, in the October 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence case.
The case is connected to the death of five persons when vehicles of his convoy allegedly ran over a group of farmers who were protesting against the farm laws.
A bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and JK Maheshwari directed Ashish Mishra to leave Uttar Pradesh within one week of interim bail and told him to avoid staying in Uttar Pradesh or the NCT of Delhi during the period of interim bail. He was directed to surrender his passport and could enter Uttar Pradesh only to attend the trial court proceedings.
The court said that any attempt by Mishra, his family members or supporters to influence or intimidate directly or indirectly the witnesses in the case would lead to cancellation of bail. Mishra was told that he had to attend the trial court proceedings regularly and could not seek any adjournment.
Invoking its suo-motu powers, the bench also granted interim bail to four persons accused in the counter-case (registered against the farmers). They were directed to be released on interim bail until further orders, subject to furnishing bail bonds to the trial court.
The court decided to keep Mishra’s regular bail application pending, and said it would be posted next on March 14 for directions after the trial court sent a report on the status of the witnesses being examined.
Taking into account the concerns that were raised about a free and fair trial, the court observed that it was necessary to balance the right to personal liberty and to ensure a fair trial.