Union minister Ajay Kumar Mishra awaits a High Court verdict on pleas challenging his acquittal in a 17-year-old murder case amid the latest controversy over Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
Mishra, now MoS Home, and some others were named in an FIR in connection with the murder of 24-year-old Prabhat Gupta, who was shot dead in Lakhimpur Kheri district’s Tikonia area in 2003.
The court of an additional sessions judge acquitted Mishra and the others in 2004 for want of adequate evidence.
The state government then appealed against the judgment and the dead man’s family too filed a revision petition.
The pleas were heard and the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court reserved its judgment on March 12, 2018.
However, before the verdict could be pronounced by the bench of Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyay and Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh, it was relisted. This required a further hearing.
The online status on the court's website shows that the case was last listed for hearing on February 25, 2020.
Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra was booked for murder after eight people were killed in violence near Tikonia village in Lakhimpur Kheri on Sunday.
Four of them were farmers. The remaining four were two BJP workers, their driver and a local journalist.
According to the complaint against the minister’s son, he was in one of the vehicles that mowed down the farmers.
The minister has challenged this, saying there is evidence to prove that his son was at an event being held elsewhere at the same time.
The farmers have also accused the minister of making “provocative” against those protesting over Centre’s agri-marketing laws.
Opposition leaders have demanded Ajay Mishra's dismissal from the cabinet and the arrest of Ashish Mishra. (With PTI inputs)