Lakhimpur Kheri case | Supreme Court Bench withdraws from hearing Ashish Mishra’s bail plea citing ‘judicial propriety’


The Bench of Justices Gavai and Nagarathna asks Registry to get the “appropriate order” from Chief Justice of India for placing the case before an “appropriate Bench”

The Bench of Justices Gavai and Nagarathna asks Registry to get the “appropriate order” from Chief Justice of India for placing the case before an “appropriate Bench”

A Supreme Court Bench of Justices B.R. Gavai and B.V. Nagarathna on November 11, 2022 withdrew for the sake of “judicial propriety” from hearing the bail application of Ashish Mishra, a Union Minister’s son and accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence and killings case.

The short hearing saw Justice Gavai question why the case had not been listed before a Bench of which either Justice Surya Kant or Justice Hima Kohli were a member.

Also read: Lakhimpur Kheri violence case | Supreme Court sets aside Allahabad HC order granting bail to Ashish Mishra

In April, Justice Kant had authored a scathing judgment against Mishra while cancelling his bail granted by the Allahabad High Court. Justice Kohli was also an associate judge on that Bench led by then Chief Justice N.V. Ramana.

Though Justice Ramana has since retired, Justices Kant and Kohli still serve the apex court. The same three-judge Bench had also re-constituted the SIT and appointed a retired High Court judge in November last year to ensure a fair probe in the case.

Also read: Lakhimpur Kheri rape case | Dalit family mourns daughters, demands death penalty

“Judicial propriety demands that this matter must be placed before a Bench consisting of one of the learned judges who had considered it elaborately,” the Bench of Justices Gavai and Nagarathna observed on Friday. It directed the Registry to get the “appropriate order” from the Chief Justice of India for placing Mishra’s case before an “appropriate Bench” of the court.

This is the second time Mishra is trying for bail. He had come to the apex court after the Allahabad High Court refused him bail.

“That is entirely left to Your Lordships,” senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, for Mishra, responded to the decision of Justices Gavai and Nagarathna to withdraw.

Mr. Kumar, however, indicated that it was a Bench of Justices Indira Banerjee (now retired) and M.M. Sundresh which had issued notice in September at the start of Mishra’s second round of litigation for bail in the apex court.

Mr. Kumar argued that Mishra was not in any of the vehicles which allegedly mowed down farmers protesting the controversial agricultural laws at Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh in October last year. He was actually four km away at another spot attending a wrestling match.


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