A petition by families of farmers in Uttar Pradesh seeking to cancel the bail given to a Union Minister’s son, who allegedly ran over farmers during an ant-farm law protest in UP’s Lakhimpur Kheri, will be heard by the Supreme Court on March 11.
The Supreme Court told lawyer Prashant Bhushan to tell the Allahabad High Court that it would hear the petition on March 11, after Mr Bhushan informed the court that more accused have been coming to the high court with bail requests and that needs to stop since they could tamper evidence and influence witnesses.
“Other accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri case are seeking bail after bail was granted to this accused (Ashish Mishra). There is risk of evidence being tampered and witnesses being influenced,” Mr Bhushan said in the Supreme Court.
“I can list on March 11 only,” Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said.
“The high court has all the other bail pleas before it. That needs to stop,” the lawyer said.
“You file a memo before the high court that the Supreme Court is seized of this matter and will be hearing it on March 11,” Chief Justice Ramana said.
Ashish Mishra’s alleged role in the killing of farmers protesting at Lakhimpur Kheri on October 3 had snowballed into a huge controversy in election season, more so because his father, Ajay Mishra Teni, is the Union Minister of State for Home in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.
Ashish Mishra is accused of driving the Mahindra Thar SUV that ran over four farmers and a journalist at Lakhimpur Kheri during a protest march against three controversial farm laws. He was arrested days later.
While granting bail, the Allahabad High Court raised questions about some of the charges listed by the police against Ashish Mishra, including firing at protesters.
“Considering the facts and circumstances of the case in toto, it is evident that as per the FIR, the role of firing was assigned to the applicant (Ashish Mishra) for killing the protesters, but during the course of investigation, no such firearm injuries were found either on the body of any of the deceased or on the body of any injured person,” the court had said.