New Delhi, 12th Feb. The Supreme Court on Monday granted an extension of interim bail to Ashish Mishra, son of Union Minister Ajay Kumar Mishra, in connection with the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, which caused the loss of eight lives.
A bench comprising Justices Surya Kant and K V Viswanathan directed the Supreme Court registry to procure a progress report from the trial court regarding the case and adjourned the proceedings.
Last year on September 26, the Supreme Court had relaxed the bail conditions for Mishra, allowing him to visit and stay in the National Capital Region (NCR) for the care of his ailing mother and his daughter’s medical treatment. The incident under scrutiny occurred on October 3, 2021, in Tikunia, Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh, resulting in fatalities including four farmers.
The apex court had modified the interim bail conditions imposed by the trial court on January 25, allowing Mishra to stay neither in Uttar Pradesh nor in Delhi during the interim period. The modification was granted on humanitarian grounds, considering his mother’s hospitalization at Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital in Delhi and his daughter’s medical needs.
However, the court strictly prohibited Mishra from participating in public events in Delhi or addressing media concerning the case, which remains sub-judice. The condition of not entering Uttar Pradesh except for trial-related matters remained in force.
Earlier, on September 18, the Supreme Court disbanded the Special Investigation Team (SIT) handling the Lakhimpur Kheri case after its completion of the probe and submission of a charge sheet in the trial court. It appointed Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain to oversee the Uttar Pradesh Police SIT’s investigation on a daily basis.
The violence erupted during a farmers’ protest against the visit of Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya to the area. The incident involved farmers being hit by an SUV, followed by alleged lynching of a driver and two BJP workers by enraged farmers, along with the death of a journalist.
Mishra was granted interim bail on January 25 last year, following the framing of charges against him and 12 others by the trial court on December 6, 2021, for offenses including murder and criminal conspiracy related to the farmers’ deaths.