The top court said judicial propriety demands that the matter be placed before a bench comprising one of the judges who had earlier dealt with the matter.
On April 18, a bench comprising the then Chief Justice N V Ramana and justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli had cancelled the bail granted to Ashish Mishra in the case and asked him to surrender in a week, saying the ‘victims’ were denied “a fair and effective hearing” in the Allahabad High Court which adopted a “myopic view of the evidence.” Justice Ramana has since retired.
It had remanded the bail application for fresh adjudication “in a fair, impartial and dispassionate manner, and keeping in view the settled parameters” within three months after taking note of relevant facts and the fact that the victims were not granted a complete opportunity of being heard.
Later, the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court had on July 26 rejected the bail plea of Mishra.
On September 6, the apex court had sought a response from the Uttar Pradesh government on Ashish Mishra’s plea seeking bail in the case.
He has challenged the high court order rejecting his bail plea in the top court.
Ashish Mishra has denied the allegations.
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, in which Ashish Mishra was seated, according to the Uttar Pradesh Police FIR.
Following the incident, 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died in the violence that triggered outrage among opposition parties and farmer groups agitating over the Centre’s now-repealed agricultural reform laws. PTI ABA ZMN