Explained: How Online Court Proceedings Favoured Lakhimpur Kheri Accused

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Lakhimpur Kheri Accused :The specific stance taken by learned Senior Counsel for the Appellants that the Counsel for the 'victims' had got disconnected from the online proceedings and could not make effective submissions before the High Court has not been controverted by the Respondents.

New Delhi (ABC Live India): The Supreme Court India today cancelled the bail granted by the Allahabad High Court to In Lakhimpur Kheri accused Ashish Mishra son of Union Minister Ajay Kumar Mishra.

The Bench comprising CJI Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Hima Kohli cancelled the bail granted by the Allahabad High Court in case titled Jagjeet Singh & Ors Vs Ashish Mishra @ Monu & Anr

It is pertinent to mention that the Allahabad High Court on 10.02.2022 granted the bail to the main accused of Lakhimpur Kheri killing of farmers ignoring the right of victim to be heard while deciding the bail application of accused.

The Supreme Court in today inscribed the detail how the Allahabad High Court ignored the victim’s right to be heard while grating the bail application in favour of accused Ashish Mishra son of Union Minister Ajay Kumar Mishra.

The Supreme Court speaking through Justice says, “...we are constrained to express our disappointment with the manner in which the High Court has failed to acknowledge the right of the victims. It is worth mentioning that, the complainant in FIR No. 219 of 2021, as well as the present Appellants, are close relatives of the farmers who have lost their lives in the incident dated 03.10.2021. The specific stance taken by learned Senior Counsel for the Appellants that the Counsel for the 'victims' had got disconnected from the online proceedings and could not make effective submissions before the High Court has not been controverted by the Respondents. Thereafter, an application seeking a rehearing on the ground that the 'victims' could not participate in the proceedings was also moved but it appears that the same was not considered by the High Court while granting bail to the Respondent Accused".

The Supreme Court also ruled on Right of Victim in criminal jurisprudence that, “A ‘victim’ within the meaning of Cr.PC. cannot be asked to await the commencement of trial for asserting his/her right to participate in the proceedings. She/he has a legally vested right to be heard at every step post the occurrence of an offence. Such a ‘victim’ has unbridled participatory rights from the stage of investigation till the culmination of the proceedings in an appeal or revision. We may hasten to clarify that ‘victim’ and ‘complainant/informant’ are two distinct connotations in criminal jurisprudence. It is not always necessary that the complainant/informant is also a ‘victim’, for even a stranger to the act of crime can be an ‘informant’, and similarly, a ‘victim’ need not be the complainant or informant of a felony.”  

The Supreme Court’s today bail cancellation order on one side has hit hard to Indian polity and on other side it raised serious question on working of Indian courts during COVID-19 pandemic while working through online as order highlighted that, “The specific stance taken by learned Senior Counsel for the Appellants that the Counsel for the 'victims' had got disconnected from the online proceedings and could not make effective submissions before the High Court has not been controverted by the Respondents. Thereafter, an application seeking a rehearing on the ground that the 'victims' could not participate in the proceedings was also moved but it appears that the same was not considered by the High Court while granting bail to the Respondent Accused"  

This order has once again raised the question over Political jurisprudence Vs Jurisprudence and how Political jurisprudence superseded the Jurisprudence in this case and ABC Research Team will published a legal research on this aspect of Indian Justice delivery system soon.

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