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Bhima Koregaon case updates: Hearing on bail of activists deferred till Thursday; house arrest to continue

Bhima Koregaon case LIVE updates: Abhishek Manu Singhvi argued that the so called letters quoted by the Maharashtra Police to Comrade Prakash are fabricated, because in the judgment convicting profesor GN Saibaba mentions that it was a name used by him.

FP Staff September 19, 2018 16:22:37 IST
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Bhima Koregaon case updates: Hearing on bail of activists deferred till Thursday; house arrest to continue

Highlights

14:13 (ist)

Complainant from Pune village hires Harish Salve to represent case

Tushar Damgude, whose FIR against organisers of Elgar Parishad lead to the arrest of five activists, is being represented by senior advocate and former attorney general of India Harish Salve. 

When Scroll questioned Damgude as to how he could afford the services of Salve, he deflected the question saying media asks him too many questions. “How did this Varavara Rao and others get Prashant Bhushan as their lawyer? How did Yakub Memon get his lawyer?” he asked, referring to the 1993 Mumbai bombings convict who was hanged in 2015. “I got mine the same way.” 

Salve did not respond to the news website's questions whether he was representing the complainant pro-bono. Meanwhile, Singhvi and Bhushan clarified that they did not charged the activists a fee for representing their case. 

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

Sept 19, 2018 - 16:06 (IST)

Hearing on bail of activists deferred till tomorrow, house arrest to continue

CNN-News18 further reported that the apex court observed that "institutions must be robust enough to tackle opposition."

"Liberty cannot be subjected to conjectures. There has to be a distinction between the opposition and overthrowing of a government by constitutionally impermissible methods," The Leaflet quoted Justice DY Chandrachud as saying.

Sept 19, 2018 - 16:00 (IST)

Criminal prosecution seems to be mala fide: Ashwini Kumar

"Court should ensure the liberty of persons against illegal incarceration. The criminal prosecution seems to be mala fide and arbitrary," ANI quoted lawyer Ashwini Kumar as telling the Supreme Court.

Sept 19, 2018 - 15:32 (IST)

Tushar Mehta places case diary in front of court 

ASG Tushar Mehta placed the case dairy in front of the bench and urged the judges to have glance at it. He detailed the progress of the investigation and how the police conducted the matter so far. Mehta said that there was no need for a search warrant for the raids. 

Sept 19, 2018 - 15:18 (IST)

ASG Tushar Mehta says cogent material available against arrested activists

The hearing has resumed and ASG Tushar Mehta is arguing on behalf of the Maharashtra government. He said that the action against all accused was taken because cogent material was available against them. He said that except one person Sudhir, no one was arrested immediately. 

Sept 19, 2018 - 14:45 (IST)

Prosecution of activists seems to be mala fide, arbitrary, says defence lawyer

Defence lawyer Ashwini Kumar told the Supreme Court that ​the Court should ensure the liberty of persons against illegal incarceration. He said that the criminal prosecution seems to be mala fide and arbitrary.  

Sept 19, 2018 - 14:13 (IST)

Complainant from Pune village hires Harish Salve to represent case

Tushar Damgude, whose FIR against organisers of Elgar Parishad lead to the arrest of five activists, is being represented by senior advocate and former attorney general of India Harish Salve. 

When Scroll questioned Damgude as to how he could afford the services of Salve, he deflected the question saying media asks him too many questions. “How did this Varavara Rao and others get Prashant Bhushan as their lawyer? How did Yakub Memon get his lawyer?” he asked, referring to the 1993 Mumbai bombings convict who was hanged in 2015. “I got mine the same way.” 

Salve did not respond to the news website's questions whether he was representing the complainant pro-bono. Meanwhile, Singhvi and Bhushan clarified that they did not charged the activists a fee for representing their case. 

Sept 19, 2018 - 13:32 (IST)

Raids conducted without permission. say defence lawyers

The nationwide raids on homes of left-leaning rights activists were have been questioned in the case.  The defence lawyers claimed that the police did not furbosh the required permission before the raids.  It was also alleged that the warrants were in Marathi and a translation wasn't offered to non-Marathi speaking activists. 

Sept 19, 2018 - 13:12 (IST)

Five rights' activists under house arrest since 28 August 

Five rights' activists — Arun Ferreira, Varavara rao, Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves, Gautam Navlakha — accused of being 'urban naxals' and the intellectual face of the violent fight against state, have been under detention since 28 Augist. 

Prominent Telugu poet Rao was arrested on August 28 from Hyderabad, while activists Gonsalves and Ferreira were nabbed from Mumbai, trade union activist Sudha Bharadwaj from Faridabad in Haryana and civil liberties activist Navlakha from Delhi. The next, court intervened and instead asked the police to keep them under house arrest. 

Sept 19, 2018 - 13:02 (IST)

Supreme Court had said it will order SIT probe if it finds evidence was cooked up 

The Supreme Court, during a previous hearing on Monday, had indicated that it may order SIT probe if it found that evidence has been "cooked up" and the material supporting the arrest of the five rights activists in the Koregaon-Bhima violence case needed to be examined. 

"Every criminal investigation is based on allegations and we have to see whether there is some material," the bench, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar andJustice  DY Chandrachud said.
 
 
"First of all we must have a look at the material. If we find that the material is cooked up, we will set up SIT. ... How can we adjudicate against them (Maharashtra police) without hearing them and looking at the material. We will see the materials of the agency," the bench said. 

Sept 19, 2018 - 13:00 (IST)

Hearing to resume after lunch

Bhima Koregaon case Latest updates: The hearing on the bail plea of activists has been deferred till Thursday.

Abhishek Manu Singhvi argued that the so called letters quoted by the Maharashtra Police to Comrade Prakash are fabricated, because the judgment convicting Professor GN Saibaba mentions that it was a name used by him. However, he remains in jail since a long time. He questioned whether Saibaba was writing, or receiving Maoist-activities related letters from government-run prison cells.

The Supreme Court, during a previous hearing on Monday, had indicated that it may order an SIT probe if it found that evidence has been "cooked up" and the material supporting the arrest of the five rights activists in the Koregaon-Bhima violence case needed to be examined.

Making his submissions, senior advocate Anand Grover said that he concurs with Singhvi's points. He also questioned the release of prime accused Milind Ekbote in the case and said that an SIT should be constituted to bring out the truth.

Opening today's arguments, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who is representing the activists argued that the initial FIRs did not mention any larger conspiracy. He argued that the so called letters quoted by the Maharashtra Police even name profesor GN Saibaba who is in jail since 2017.

The Supreme Court has started hearing the petition against arrest of activists in Koregaon-Bhima violence case on Wednesday. This is expected to be the final hearing on the case.

The last hearing on Monday saw sharp exchanges between senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan and Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta. At the fag end of the hearing of the plea filed by historian Romila Thapar before a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Dhavan referred to interruptions by the law officer.

Bhima Koregaon case updates Hearing on bail of activists deferred till Thursday house arrest to continue

The Supreme Court of India. PTI

"Mr Mehta should be a commentator in local cricket matches. Don't convert everything into a stupid drama. He did this to me during the hearing of another important case. Let us have a hearing without these interruptions,” Dhavan said.

"I do not want to stoop to his level. This pedestrian language has been used for judges also," the law officer responded angrily.

This prompted senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the complainant in the violence case, to say "the arguments be confined to the case. I am making this request second time in this court...".

The bench fixed the plea of Thapar and the others for final hearing on 19 September, while specifying the time limit for advancing of arguments by lawyers including Salve, AM Singhvi, Anand Grover, Dhavan, Mehta and Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh.

The Maharashtra police had arrested the rights activists on 28 August in connection with an FIR lodged following a conclave — 'Elgaar Parishad' — held on 31 December last year that had later triggered violence at Koregaon-Bhima village.

Prominent Telugu poet Rao was arrested on 28 August from Hyderabad, while activists Gonsalves and Ferreira were nabbed from Mumbai, trade union activist Sudha Bharadwaj from Faridabad in Haryana and civil liberties activist Navlakha from Delhi.

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