Justice Rajeev Singh of the Allahabad High Court, who had granted bail to Union minister Ajay Mishra’s son, Ashish Mishra, in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, has recused himself from hearing a fresh bail petition, The New Indian Express reported on Wednesday.

Farmer bodies had alleged that a vehicle belonging to Ashish Mishra had run over people on October 3 during a protest in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri district against the three farm laws that have now been repealed.

Mishra had been arrested on October 9. He walked out of jail on February 15 after the Allahabad High Court bench, comprising of Justice Singh granted him bail on February 10.

Families of those killed had challenged the bail order in the Supreme Court, which overturned the High Court verdict and cancelled Mishra’s bail on April 18. He is currently lodged in Lakhimpur prison after a three-judge bench led by Chief Justice NV Ramana directed him to surrender within a week.

As Mishra’s fresh bail plea came up for listing on Wednesday, Singh directed court officials to refer it to the chief justice of the Allahabad High Court for the fresh nomination of a judge, The New Indian Express reported. The judge has not cited any reason for his recusal.

The Supreme Court order

The Supreme Court had said that the Allahabad High Court granted bail to Mishra by taking into account irrelevant considerations. The High Court also denied families of farmers killed in the violence a chance to participate in the bail proceedings, the judges said.

“The denial of victims to be heard and the tearing hurry shown by the High Court merits the setting aside of bail order,” the order added. “Thus, we remand the matter back to High Court for fresh consideration of the bail application of [the] accused [person].”

The Supreme Court said that the Allahabad High Court could consider Mishra’s bail plea in an impartial and impassionate manner.

After the Supreme Court’s ruling, Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, representing the petitioners, had urged the judges to assign another bench to hear the case. However, the Supreme Court left the matter to the chief justice of the Allahabad High Court.