Lakhimpur Kheri violence: SC relaxes Ashish Mishra’s interim bail conditions to allow him to visit ailing mother

The Supreme Court on Tuesday relaxed the bail conditions of Ashish Mishra, a prime accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, to enable him to visit and stay in the National Capital Region (NCR) to look after his ailing mother and for the treatment of his daughter.

The case pertains to an incident of violence on October 3, 2021, in which eight people, including four farmers, were killed in Tikunia in Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh.

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and Dipankar Datta relaxed the interim bail conditions imposed on Mishra by the court on January 25. Mishra was asked not to stay either in Uttar Pradesh or in Delhi during the period.

The court passed the order on a modification application filed by Ashish Mishra, son of Union minister Ajay Mishra, stating that his mother is admitted to the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) Hospital in Delhi.

He has further stated in his application that his daughter needs treatment for certain deformities in her legs.

Appearing in the court on behalf of Mishra, senior advocate Siddharth Dave said his client needs to take care of her ailing mother.

The bench allowed the application on humanitarian ground, but said Mishra should not participate in any public function in Delhi and address the media with regard to the case, which is sub-judice.

It also clarified that the prohibition on entering Uttar Pradesh except for attending the trial, the condition imposed by the order dated January 25, will continue to operate.

On September 18, the top court relieved the Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri case, saying it has completed its probe and submitted a chargesheet in the trial court.

It said if any necessity to reconstitute the SIT arises, an appropriate order shall be passed.

The apex court had appointed Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain, a former judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, to supervise the Uttar Pradesh Police SIT’s probe into the case on a day-to-day basis.

Three senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officers — S B Shirodkar, Deepinder Singh and Padmaja Chauhan — were part of the SIT.

The top court had, on July 11, extended Mishra’s interim bail.

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The violence had erupted when farmers were protesting against Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya’s visit to the area.

Four farmers were mowed down by a sports utility vehicle (SUV). A driver and two Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers were then allegedly lynched by angry farmers. A journalist also died in the violence that triggered outrage among opposition parties and the farmer groups agitating over the Centre’s now-repealed agriculture laws.

On January 25, the top court granted interim bail to Mishra in the “unfortunate ghastly incident” of violence in 2021 at Lakhimpur Kheri, which claimed eight lives, and directed him to leave Uttar Pradesh within a week of his release from jail.

On December 6 last year, the trial court had framed charges against Mishra and 12 others for the alleged offences of murder, criminal conspiracy and under other penal laws in the case of the four farmers’ death, paving the way for the trial to start.

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