A bench, headed by Chief Justice U.U. Lalit and comprising Justice Bela M. Trivedi 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. In case the senior counsel is unable to come down to Lucknow, a request for allowing said counsel to make submissions through videoconferencing may be considered by the high court.”
The bench, in its order, further added: “With these observations, the instant writ petition and the special leave petition are disposed of. Pending interlocutory application(s), if any, stands disposed of.”
Counsel had informed the bench that the transfer was sought on grounds as the senior advocate, who would argue the matter at Lucknow, was ordinarily based at Allahabad and because of his old age, it would not be possible for him to go all the way to Lucknow for arguments.
The top court, in its order, said: “The instant writ petition has been filed by the complainant seeking directions that the matter which is pending consideration before the high court and which is getting repeatedly adjourned, be directed to be listed and heard at an early date. It is also submitted that the appeal was actually heard in the month of March 2018. However, till April 2022, no judgment having been delivered, a request was made on behalf of the complainant for rehearing of the appeal.”
Mishra moved the apex court challenging the administrative order passed by the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court declining to entertain a plea to transfer the appeal from Lucknow to Allahabad.
The matter is connected with the murder of 24-year-old Prabhat Gupta, which took place in Lakhimpur Kheri in 2000.
Mishra, Union Minister of State for Home, had faced trial in Gupta’s murder but the trial court acquitted him and others for want of evidence in 2004. The state filed the appeal after Mishra’s acquittal and the deceased’s family also filed a separate revision petition against the judgment.