Lakhimpur Kheri violence case: No in-camera trial, says SC

File photo.

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the proposal for an in-camera trial in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case in which Ashish Mishra, son of Union Home Minister of State Ajay Mishra, is facing charges as the prime accused, according to Bar and Bench.

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and JK Maheshwari decided on this aspect on Monday. The issue was considered after advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for one of the victims, informed the top court that threats were being issued inside the courtroom.

In order to guard against such apprehensions, Senior Advocate Siddharth Dave, appearing for Mishra, suggested that the trial may be held in camera, reported the legal website.

The Supreme Court had last month granted interim bail for eight weeks to Ashish Mishra. The top court had said that he could not stay in UP or NCT of Delhi and would inform the trial court about his location and had to mark his attendance in the police station of the jurisdiction of his location. Any attempt by Mishra or his family to influence witnesses would lead to cancellation of bail, the top court said.

The case pertains to deaths of four farmers who were mowed down by an SUV in which Ashish Mishra was seated. The driver of the SUV and two BJP workers were lynched allegedly by the angry farmers. A journalist also died in the violence.

The case dates back to October 3, 2021, when eight people were killed during violence that erupted amid protests by farmers against the now revoked farm laws.

After the High Court granted bail to Mishra in the case, family members of the deceased approached the Supreme Court in appeal, seeking cancellation of the bail. Oddly, the State of Uttar Pradesh did not file an appeal against the bail order, according to the website.

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.


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