Supreme Court adjourns hearing in Bhima Koregaon violence case to 17 September; 5 activists to remain under house arrest

The Supreme Court has adjourned the hearing in the Bhima Koregaon raids case to 17 September (next Monday) and the interim order of house arrest for all the five activists arrested on 29 August is to continue till the hearing.

FP Staff September 12, 2018 12:43:14 IST
Supreme Court adjourns hearing in Bhima Koregaon violence case to 17 September; 5 activists to remain under house arrest

The Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned the hearing in the Bhima Koregaon raids case to 17 September (next Monday) and the interim order of house arrest for all the five activists arrested on 29 August is to continue till the hearing.

Supreme Court adjourns hearing in Bhima Koregaon violence case to 17 September 5 activists to remain under house arrest

A view of Supreme Court of India. PTI

A bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud adjourned the hearing on the plea filed by historian Romila Thapar and four others after the bench observed that advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who is representing the petitioners, was busy in another court.

Earlier, Singhvi had appeared before the bench and submitted that the hearing on Thapar's plea be conducted after 12 pm as he has to appear in another matter. The court was hearing the plea filed against the arrest of the rights activists — Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha — in the case.

On 4 September, a Pune-based man, Tushar Damgude had filed a plea in the Supreme Court seeking to be made a party in the case stating that it was he who had lodged the FIR in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence.

The top court had earlier ordered that the five human rights activists would be kept under house arrest till 6 September observing that dissent was the "safety valve" of democracy.

While granting relief to the five activists, the top court did not consider the vehement opposition of Maharashtra government challenging the locus of the petitioners, Thapar and four others, seeking relief on their behalf, and calling them "strangers.

The Maharashtra Police had arrested them in connection with an FIR lodged following a conclave — 'Elgaar Parishad' — held on 31 December, 2017 that had later triggered violence at Koregaon-Bhima village. The state had challenged the petitioners' locus, dubbing them as "strangers".

The plea, by Romila Thapar, economists Prabhat Patnaik and Devaki Jain, sociology professor Satish Deshpandey and human rights lawyer Maja Daruwala, has sought an independent probe into the arrests and their immediate release.

Prominent Telugu poet Varavara Rao was arrested from Hyderabad, while activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Farreira were arrested from Mumbai, trade union activist Sudha Bhardwaj from Faridabad in Haryana and civil liberties activist Gautam Navalakha was arrested from New Delhi.

With inputs from PTI

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