Plea in SC against bail for Ashish Misra in Lakhimpur Kheri violence case

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A plea has been moved in the Supreme Court challenging the bail granted to accused Ashish Misra, son of Union Minister and BJP MP Ajay Kumar Misra, in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case.

The plea has been filed by advocates C.S. Panda and Shiv Kumar Tripathi, who moved the top court last year seeking an independent probe into the matter.

Earlier this week, Misra was released from jail after he was granted bail by the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court. His lawyers submitted two bail bonds of Rs 3 lakh each in regards to his bail orders on Monday.

Challenging bail granted to Misra, the plea said: “How could the High Court Justice rest his reasoning on presumption and guess work using the word ‘might’ to arrive at a conclusion that the said crime culminated in a possibility of the driver trying to speed up the vehicle to save himself. The said conclusion by the learned High Court justice is unsustainable in law.”

The plea argued that reasoning of the high court suffers from the vices of non-application of judicial mind, and it took recourse to assumptions without the support of direct evidence.

In November last year, the Supreme Court appointed Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain, a former judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court, to monitor the Lakhimpur Kheri violence probe. The top court also reconstituted the SIT investigating the incident and appointed IPS officer S.B. Shiradkar, as its head.

The plea filed by advocates said: “The net effect of the getting a bail to the accused Ashish Misra @ Monu and non-interrogation of the Union Minister of State (Home) Ajay Misra by the retd. Justice Rakesh Jain… results in greater prejudice affecting the morale of the law-abiding peaceful protestors hailing from Lakhimpur local area and other parts of UP.”

The petitioners contended that no effective role was discharged by the newly formed SIT in opposing the bail application of the accused, and urged the top court to pass a direction to the SIT to show-cause as to why things were delayed for victims’ families, who are seeking justice.

On October 3, 2021, eight people, including four farmers who were run over by a cavalcade of vehicles, were killed in Lakhimpur Kheri in clashes during a farmers’ protest. Misra was arrested on October 9 last year in the case.

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