Supreme Court Grants Bail to Minister’s Son in Lakhmipur Kheri Case
© AP Photo / Tsering TopgyalPigeons fly past the dome of India's Supreme Court in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016.
© AP Photo / Tsering Topgyal
Uttar Pradesh Police's special investigation team named Ashish Mishra as the principal suspect in the case in its 5,000-page report.
India's Supreme Court granted an eight-week bail to Ashish Mishra, son of the federal Minister Ajay Mishra Teni, as part of the 2021 Lakhimpur Kheri violence case on Wednesday.
Ashish has also been asked by the top court to leave Uttar Pradesh state within one week and instructed that he cannot live in Delhi or nearby areas while on bail.
Last week, the minister's son argued that a suspect cannot be incarcerated for an indefinite period unless proven guilty during the bail hearing.
However, senior prosecuting lawyer Dushyant Dave responded that granting bail would "send a terrible message" to society.
For his part, Ashish's lawyer Mukul Rohatgi argued that his client has been in custody for more than a year and at the current pace of the investigation, it is likely that the trial could be seven to eight years off. On January 11, the Uttar Pradesh regional government informed the Supreme Court that the trial could take five years to complete.
Violence erupted in Tikunia in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhmipur Kheri district in October 2021 after an SUV allegedly driven by Ashish Mishra mowed down four farmers protesting against now-scrapped farm laws.
A case was filed against Ashish and 12 others accused, but Ashish was named as the principal suspect.
He was granted bail by Allahabad High Court on February 10, 2022, but it was canceled by the top court in April and he was asked to hand himself over within a week.