The Supreme Court today granted interim bail to Ashish Misra, the key accused in the 2021 farmers’ killing in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri. Misra is the son of Union Minister Ajay Kumar Misra.
A bench of Justices Suryakant and JK Maheshwari said, "The fair trial of petitioners' right to liberty under Article 21 has to be balanced with the right of state."
Misra has been granted interim relief for eight weeks, during which he cannot stay in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi and its adjoining areas. He can enter UP only when asked to appear before the trial court. He has been ordered to leave UP within a week.
He will have to share the address of his residence for this period with the court and surrender the passport. The court also directed Misra to mark his attendance at the police station in the jurisdiction of his new location during the bail period.
The court, in a set of directions passed, said, "Any attempt by family members of Misra or Misra himself to influence witnesses will lead to the cancellation of his bail. If it is found that Misra is trying to delay the trial, it will be a valid ground to cancel his bail."
The court used its suo motu powers to extend similar relief to four other accused in the case.
The court also directed the trial court to send a report on the status of the witnesses being examined and slated the hearing for March 14.
Ashish Misra, who is the main accused in the case, is facing a case of murder for an incident that took place on October 3, 2021, in which eight people, including four farmers, were killed in UP's Lakhimpur Kheri.
Misra allegedly ran over the farmers who were protesting against the Centre’s three farm laws.