‘Will Take Five Years To Complete Trial’: Status Report on Lakhimpur Kheri Case
The lower court said this to the top court which is considering the bail application of prime accused Ashish Mishra.
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A trial court in Uttar Pradesh has told the Supreme Court that it will take five years to complete the Lakhimpur Kheri violence trial.
The case pertains to the death of four farmers in October 2021 who were allegedly crushed by a car in which Ashish Mishra, the son of Union Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra, was present.
In the chaos and protests that ensued after the incident, a journalist and three others were killed too.
Ashish Mishra was later named an accused in the case.
But why 5 years? The trial court has said that it will take at least that much time because it has more than 200 witnesses to examine in the case.
Why did the trial court say this? Mishra had challenged the cancellation of bail by the Allahabad High Court on 26 July last year in the top court.
The apex court, which is considering his bail application, had asked the trial court in December 2022 for an update on the trial proceedings.
During a hearing on Wednesday, 11 December, the Supreme Court read out the report submitted by the trial court.
Is there a way to speed up the process? According to Advocate Prashant Bhushan, who is appearing for the complainants, the trial court could hold the trial on a day-to-day basis because...
"There are material witnesses, who were threatened and badly beaten up. They can be examined first on a day-to-day basis... It needs day-to-day trial. They have been threatened, Minister had said a lesson will be taught," Bhushan submitted.
"We are aware," the Bench responded.
Mishra's lawyer Mukul Rohtagi said that all of Bhushan's submissions were "totally false." He also opposed Bhushan's request for a day-to-day trial.
What now? The top court proceeded to list the bail plea for hearing on 19 January.
(With inputs from LiveLaw.)
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Topics: Lakhimpur Kheri Case
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