NEW DELHI: The
on Wednesday granted interim bail to
, the main
in the Lakhimpur violence case.
The top court said that the accused, the son of Union minister Ajay Kumar Mishra, will not be residing in Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi during the interim bail period of eight weeks. He has to leave Uttar Pradesh a week after he is released on bail.
The court also said that it would examine Ashish's conduct after eight weeks to decide on extension of bail. The accused has also been directed to surrender his passport in court.
A Supreme Court bench had on January 19 reserved its order on Mishra's application.
Incident dates back to October 2021
On October 3, 2021, eight people were killed in
Kheri district's Tikunia where violence had erupted when farmers were protesting the then Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya's visit to the area.
According to the Uttar Pradesh police FIR, four farmers were mowed down by an SUV in which Ashish Mishra was seated. Following the incident, the driver of the SUV and two BJP workers were allegedly lynched by angry farmers. A journalist had also died in the violence.
The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court had on July 26 last year rejected the bail plea of accused Ashish. He challenged the high court's order in the apex court.
During the hearing on January 19, the top court had observed that an accused should not be incarcerated for an indefinite period unless proven guilty of an offence. While reserving its order on the plea, the bench had said it is a case of balancing the rights of the parties.
Opposing the bail plea, additional advocate general for Uttar Pradesh, Garima Prashad, had said it was a grave and heinous crime and granting bail will send a wrong signal to society.
Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for those opposing the bail plea, had said enlarging Ashish on bail will send a terrible message to society.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Ashish, had strongly opposed Dave's submission and said his client has been in custody for more than a year and the way the trial is proceeding it will take seven to eight years to complete it.
On December 6 last year, the trial court had framed charges against Ashish and 12 others for the alleged offences of murder, criminal conspiracy and other penal laws in the case of death of the four protesting farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri, paving the way for the start of the trial.
A total of 13 accused, including Ashish, were charged under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 147 and 148 related to rioting, 149 (unlawful assembly), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 427 (mischief) and 120B (punishment for criminal conspiracy), and section 177 of the Motor Vehicle Act.
The other 12 accused are Ankit Das, Nandan Singh Bisht, Latif Kale, Satyam alias Satya Prakash Tripathi, Shekhar Bharti, Sumit Jaiswal, Ashish Pandey, Lavkush Rana, Shishu Pal, Ullas Kumar alias Mohit Trivedi, Rinku Rana and Dharmendra Banjara. All of them are in jail.