The Supreme Court on Wednesday, 30 March, told the Uttar Pradesh government that the judge appointed to monitor the Special Investigation Team probing the Lakhimpur Kheri case, has recommended that the state should file a plea challenging accused Ashish Mishra’s bail.
The Court, further sought the state’s response to the monitoring judge’s stand and went on to adjourn the hearing of the case to 4 April.
According to LiveLaw, CJI NV Ramana, who is hearing the case along with Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, told the state:
"It appears from report of monitoring judge that he recommended for filing application against the order of the Allahabad HC.”
“What's your stand?" the CJI further asked Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for the UP government.
In response to the same, the senior advocate reportedly sought time for instructions from the state.
The apex court had, in November 2021, appointed former Punjab and Haryana High Court judge Rakesh Kumar Jain to monitor the probe in the case.
The Uttar Pradesh government had previously filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court stating that they “vehemently opposed” the bail plea filed by Ashish Mishra – main accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri case.
However, the state also submitted that their own decision to file a special leave petition challenging the High Court’s bail order in favour of Mishra is “pending consideration before the relevant authorities.”
The State further went on to claim that the purported attack on one of the protected witnesses in the case, in Lakhimpur Kheri, on 10 March, is “not related at all” with the original case (in which Mishra is an accused).
Eight people, including four farmers, were killed on 3 October 2021, in UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri region after being run over by a convoy of cars.
Union Minister and BJP leader Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra, whose car was part of the convoy, had subsequently been charged with murder in connection with the case.
The Allahabad High Court had, however, earlier in February, granted bail to Mishra in the case.
Challenging the bail order in the apex court, senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the petitioners, had reportedly said that the bail order suffered from "non-application of mind”.
Dave also urged the court to take a “serious view” of the issue that the State had said that an affidavit filed by Mishra to plead a case of alibi was a forged document.
(With inputs from LiveLaw.)
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