The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Uttar Pradesh government to respond by April 4 to the two reports of a retired judge, monitoring the SIT probe into the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, which had sought cancellation of bail to Ashish Mishra, son of Union minister Ajay Mishra.
A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana said the monitoring judge had written to the state for cancellation of bail granted by the Allahabad High Court to Ashish Mishra in connection with the case.
“There are two letters sent by the SIT to the Additional Chief Secretary (home) of the Uttar Pradesh government by the monitoring judge who had written to state to file appeal in SC to cancel bail of main accused Ashish Mishra,” the bench also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli said.
Senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for the state government, took instructions and informed the apex court that the Additional Secretary, Home, has stated now to us that he did not receive the letters.
The bench then asked him to go through the reports submitted by the SIT and respond to it by April 4.
Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the petitioners, submitted that the Uttar Pradesh government has submitted that they had opposed the bail in the High Court.
“It is imminent that the bail be cancelled or set aside in these circumstances as the HC verdict suffers from non application of mind,” he said.
The top court had appointed Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain, former judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, to supervise on day-to-day basis the Uttar Pradesh SIT’s probe into the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
On October 3 last year, eight people were killed in Lakhimpur Kheri during violence that 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 an SUV, following which the driver and two BJP workers were allegedly lynched by angry farmers.
A journalist also died in the violence that triggered outrage among opposition parties and farmer groups agitating over the Centre’s now-repealed agri laws.