Supreme Court of India | Photo: Mathrubhumi
New Delhi: Uttar Pradesh Government told the Supreme Court that the state has taken all efforts to protect the witnesses and families of victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident.
Uttar Pradesh government said that all the witnesses are also regularly contacted by the police for appraisal of their security conditions.
The submission of the Uttar Pradesh government came in an affidavit as a reply to the petition seeking to cancel the bail of Ashish Mishra, the son of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra Teni.
The state government told the Supreme Court that it had opposed the bail plea of Ashish Mishra in the Allahabad High Court and the submission of the petition that the state did not effectively oppose the bail application of the accused Ashish Mishra is completely untrue.
"That at the very outset, the Answering Respondent (Uttar Pradesh) takes exception to the averments in the SLP to the effect that State did not effectively oppose the Bail Application of the Accused Respondent No 1 (Ashish Mishra). The same is completely untrue, as is also borne out from a perusal of the Impugned Order itself...." read the affidavit.
The affidavit also stated that the same clearly demonstrates that Ashish Mishra's bail application was vehemently opposed by the State in the Allahabad High Court and any averments to the contrary in the special leave petition (SLP) are completely false and merits to be rejected.
Uttar Pradesh Government further said that as per the Allahabad High Court's order of February 10, 2022, the limitation period against the same is still running, and the decision to file SLP against the same is pending consideration before the relevant authorities.
The government also said that the investigation revealed that the altercation between a witness and the opposite party took place over the throwing of Gulal.
Earlier, it was alleged that one witness was attacked by some miscreants. The alleged attackers threatened the witness that Mishra is out on bail and the ruling party had also won the election and they would see to him.
According to the affidavit, all the witnesses are also regularly contacted by the police for appraisal of their security conditions.
"The witnesses were interviewed telephonically most recently on March 20 2022 and expressed satisfaction with the security provided to them and were informed that if they required any help in relation to their security, they should immediately contact the Superintendent of Police of their respective districts and would receive prompt assistance," UP government assured in the affidavit.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had issued notice to Uttar Pradesh Govt and others on plea seeking to cancel bail to Ashish Mishra.
On the last hearing advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner, said that one of the prime protected witnesses was brutally attacked, a few days after bail was granted to Ashish Mishra.
Family members of the victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident have moved Supreme Court challenging the Allahabad High Court order, which granted bail to Ashish Mishra.
In the Special Leave Petition, family members of the deceased have challenged the Allahabad High Court order dated February 10 2022, wherein Ashish Mishra was granted regular bail.
The petitioner said that Allahabad HC's order is unsustainable in law.
They also said that they have approached the apex court as the State of Uttar Pradesh has failed to prefer any appeal against the impugned order.
Ashish Mishra was released from jail in February followed by Allahabad High Court granting him bail. Eight people, including four farmers, had died in violence on October 3, 2020, in Lakhimpur Kheri.