The Supreme Court on Monday held that Ashish Mishra, the son of Union minister Ajay Mishra and prime accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, would be in violation of his interim bail conditions if he had visited Uttar Pradesh since January 2023, reported Bar and Bench.

Farmer bodies have alleged that a vehicle belonging to Ashish Mishra had run over a group of demonstrators on October 3, 2021. Eight persons, including four farmers, were killed on that day after violence broke out in the Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh during a protest against the Centre’s agricultural laws that have now been repealed.

While granting Mishra bail in January last year, the Supreme Court had instructed him to leave Uttar Pradesh within a week of his release. He is not allowed to stay in Uttar Pradesh or the National Capital Region while on bail as the prosecution had told the court that he could influence witnesses in the case.

On Monday, a bench of Justices Surya Kant and PS Narasimha was hearing submissions from the families of those killed in the violence. They told the court that Mishra had recently attended political events in Uttar Pradesh and there are videos of him distributing tricycles, according to ANI.

Representing the family members, advocate Prashant Bhushan told the court: “There are also posters which have been put up of his [Ashish Mishra’s] political appearances in UP. So, I do not know how that is being allowed. I can file an affidavit.”

Senior Advocate Siddhartha Dave, representing Mishra, denied the allegations.

“I do not trust video,” Dave was quoted as saying by Live Law. “We are complying with the terms. We only go there when there is a hearing one day before the date…I am not that foolish that I will participate after getting liberty from your lordships.”

The bench then asked Bhushan to file an affidavit detailing his allegations. It also directed the public prosecutor and the local police to ensure the presence of witnesses during Mishra’s trial “so that court time is not wasted”.

Mishra was first arrested in the case on October 9, 2021. He walked out of jail on February 15, 2022, after the Allahabad High Court granted him bail. However, families of those killed in the violence challenged the bail order in the Supreme Court, which overturned the High Court verdict and cancelled Mishra’s bail in April 2022.

After setting aside the High Court’s bail order, the Supreme Court had asked to assign another bench to hear his plea. The new bench denied Mishra bail in July 2022, after which he moved the Supreme Court once again to challenge the order.

The top court in January last year granted him interim bail for eight weeks, which has been getting extended repeatedly.