Supreme Court refuses to interfere in activists’ arrests, asks accused to approach trial court

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The Supreme Court on Friday rejected plea for SIT probe in Bhima Koregaon case while refusing to interfere in the arrests of five activists Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha in Bhima-Koregaon case.

Supreme Court

The bench that heard the case comprised of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud. The top court said that the activists accused of plotting Prime Minister’s assassination can move the trial court for relief. The lawyers representing the government had made a plea for the same. While CJI Misra and Justice Kahnwilkar concurred with each other, Justice Chandrachud dissented.

Here are the highlights:

  • Letter alleged to be written by Sudha Bhardwaj was flashed on a TV channel, Police selectively disclosing probe details to media casting cloud on fairness of investigation:  DY Chandrachud (Bar and Bench)
  • Voices of opposition cannot be muzzled because it is a dissent. Deprivation of liberty cannot be compensated later: Justice Chandrachud ( Bar and Bench)
  • This is a fit and proper case for Court monitored SIT investigation: Justice Chandrachud (Live Law)
  • Serious doubts about Maharashtra police’s investigation: Justice Chandrachud
  • An enquiry is required against Maharashtra police officers for utilising media: Justice Chandrachud (Live Law)
  • CJI Misra and Justice Khanwilkar say that no case is made to say arrest of activists was made merely on ground of dissent with the government
  • The media meet of the police casts doubt on the impartiality of the investigation: Justice Chandrachud
  • Police briefing to media has become a source of manipulating public opinion: Justice Chandrachud (Live Law)
  • Supreme Court extends house arrest for four weeks of five activists Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha in Bhima-Koregaon case- ANI
  • Investigation officers are permitted to continue with the investigation
  • The Petition is filed by next friend, not the accused
  • Accused persons cannot choose which investigating agencies should investigate
  • It is not a case of arrest because of difference in political organisation.

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