Lakhimpur Kheri violence: HC judge withdraws from bench hearing Ashish Mishra’s bail plea

Lucknow: An Allahabad High court judge withdrew himself on Wednesday from a bench hearing the bail plea of Union Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra Monu in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case.

Justice Rajeev Singh of the Lucknow bench of the high court, who had granted bail to Ashish Mishra earlier, recused himself from hearing it again after the Supreme Court cancelled his bail order last week on April 18.

While cancelling Mishra’s bail, the Supreme Court had also asked the high court to decide his bail plea afresh and the plea came up for hearing before Justice Singh’s bench. But he recused himself from hearing it afresh.

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Justice Singh, however, gave no reason for withdrawing himself from the single-judge bench hearing the bail plea.

The next hearing of the bail plea too was not scheduled and it would be fixed for the next hearing after the constitution of a new bench to hear it, a court official said.

Ashish Mishra had been arrested in the October 3 Lakhimpur Kheri violence case in which eight people, including four farmers and a journalist, were killed and several others were injured when a convoy of SUVs, including a Thar allegedly owned by Ajay Mishra, had run over a group of protesting farmers in Lakhimpur Kheri.

In the violence that followed, two BJP workers and the driver of the Thar vehicle too were killed. The farmers were protesting against the then Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya’s visit to the area on October 3 last year.

According to the FIR lodged in the case, Ashish Mishra was sitting in one of the cars.

The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court had granted regular bail to Ashish Mishra, observing that the present case was one of “accident by hitting with the vehicle”.

But the Supreme Court cancelled the bail, saying that the victims were denied “a fair and effective hearing” by the Allahabad High Court, which adopted a “myopic view of the evidence”.

The top court had also Ashish Mishra to surrender before the court and asked the high court to hear Mishra’s bail plea afresh.

Mishra had surrendered before the court of Lakhimpur Kheri’s chief judicial magistrate on Sunday.

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