In 20-Year-Old Murder Case, Apex Court Setback For Union Minister

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The Supreme Court has rejected a case filed by Union minister Ajay Mishra requesting transfer of the UP government's appeal against his acquittal in an over twenty year past murder case.

Bench composed of CJI UU Lalit and Justice Bela M Trivedi was said that the transfer was asked on the basis that the senior counsel, who has to take up the matter at UP’s capital, was generally based at Allahabad and due to his old age it wouldn’t be easy for him to go all the way to Lucknow for court hearings.

The bench said "We do not go into all these issues as in our view, a request to the high court to hear the appeal for disposal on November 10, 2022, the date given by the high court and agreed upon by both the senior counsel would serve the ends of justice".

The bench said “In case the senior counsel is unable to come down to Lucknow, a request for allowing the said counsel to make submissions through video conferencing may be considered by the high court”.

The matter pertains to the murder of 24-year-old Prabhat Gupta which help in 2000 at Lakhimpur Kheri.

In 2004 Ajay Mishra, Union Minister of Home (State), had faced court in the murder of Mr Gupta and was acquitted, then the UP government filed the appeal. In 2024 with the want of the proper evidence A court of ADJ in Lakhimpur Kheri had acquitted Mishra and others.

The Uttar Pradesh government had preferred an appeal while the victim's family had filed another petition appealing the earlier judgment in the sessions court.

Ajay Mishra went to the top court against the administrative order passed by the CJ of the Allahabad High Court of Judicature at Allahabad striking out the prayer to shift the government appeal from Lucknow to Allahabad.