The Supreme Court on Tuesday relaxed the bail condition of Lakhimpur Kheri violence accused, Ashish Misra and allowed him to travel to Delhi to tend to his ailing mother and avail treatment for his daughter [Ashish Mishra alias Monu vs State of Uttar Pradesh]
However, a bench of Justices Surya Kant and Dipankar Datta added that Mishra must not address the media or any public meeting during this time.
The order was passed after Senior Advocate Siddhartha Dave, appearing for Mishra, submitted that his mother has been admitted to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and that his daughter needed some surgeries.
The bench proceeded to allow Mishra's application to travel to and reside in Delhi.
Ashish Mishra is accused of killing farmers who had assembled in Lakhimpur Kheri, Uttar Pradesh in 2021 to protest against the now revoked farm laws. On October 3, 2021, eight people were killed after a vehicle belonging to and allegedly being driven by Mishra mowed down the protesting farmers, among others.
In January, the Supreme Court granted Mishra interim bail for 8 weeks in the case, which has since been extended with the bench receiving progress reports of the trial from the concerned judge.
Mishra had earlier been barred from travelling to Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. The same was relaxed with today's order.
In February, the Supreme Court rejected the proposal for an in-camera trial in the case.
After Mishra was arrested, the Uttar Pradesh Police's special investigation team (SIT) filed a 5,000-page charge-sheet before a local court, naming Mishra as the prime accused in the case.
In November that year, a trial court rejected his application for bail, prompting Mishra to move the High Court.
The High Court had first granted bail to Mishra on February 10, 2022, stating that there is a possibility that the driver of the vehicle that mowed down the protesting farmers, sped up the vehicle to save himself.
After the High Court granted bail to Mishra in the case, family members of the deceased approached the Supreme Court in appeal, seeking the cancellation of his bail. Oddly, the State of Uttar Pradesh did not file an appeal against the bail order.
In April 2022, the apex court cancelled the bail granted to Mishra by the High Court and remanded the matter to the High Court for fresh consideration.
On July 26 last year, the High Court denied Mishra bail, prompting an appeal by Mishra before the Supreme Court which then granted him bail.
Meanwhile, the trial court in Uttar Pradesh framed murder charges against Mishra in December 2022.
The charges were framed under Sections 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapons), 149 (offence committed in prosecution of common object), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 326 (voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons), 427 (mischief causing damage), 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 177 of the Motor Vehicles Act.