Supreme Court raps Uttar Pradesh govt on Teni son's bail case
The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Uttar Pradesh government why it had not appealed for the cancellation of bail to Lakhimpur Kheri accused Ashis Mishra despite such a recommendation from Justice (retd) Rakesh Kumar Jain who is monitoring the probe.
Ashis, son of Union minister Ajay Mishra Teni, is accused of being in an SUV belonging to his father that mowed down four farmers and a journalist on October 3. Arrested a week later, he received bail from Allahabad High Court on February 10.
“It appears there are two letters sent by the SIT (special investigation team) to the additional chief secretary, home, of the UP government by the monitoring judge,” Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana told senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, who was appearing for the state government.
“He has recommended cancellation of the bail and has asked that an SLP (special leave petition) be filed… for cancelling the bail of main accused Ashis Mishra. Why haven’t you done it so far?”
Jethmalani took a short break to speak to the additional chief secretary and then informed the bench, which included Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, that the state government had so far not received the monitoring judge’s reports.
Justice Ramana then asked the court registry to furnish copies of the monitoring judge’s recommendations to the state government and the petitioners who had sought cancellation of Ashis’s bail.
The bench asked the state government to file its response and posted the next hearing to April 4.
During arguments, senior advocate Dushyant Dave, while seeking immediate cancellation of Ashis’s bail, had alleged that the accused had filed certain false documents in the high court to claim he was not present at the site of the massacre.
Dave sought prosecution of Ashis for perjury, a charge punishable with up to three months in jail or a fine.
The apex court had last year rapped the state police for shoddy investigation into the massacre and ordered a court-monitored SIT probe. It later appointed Justice Jain as monitor.
On February 21, the families of some of the slain farmers had petitioned the apex court to cancel Ashis’s bail.
They later alleged that a group of BJP supporters had attacked a key witness, Diljot Singh, after the party’s victory in the recent Uttar Pradesh elections and asked him to withdraw from the case.