Activists arrest: SC reserves order, asks parties to submit written notes by Sep 24

Areest of Five Activist

New Delhi, Sep 20: The Supreme Court Thursday reserved its order on the petitions challenging the arrest of activists for the alleged link with Naxals.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud also asked parties to file their written notes by September 24.

Picking holes in the Maharashtra police investigation leading to the held five activists, Singhvi told the bench that when there is a real doubt about the credibility and sanctity of the probe, it should be entrusted to a Special Investigating Team, IANS reported.

Singhvi pointed out that there was no separate FIR on the alleged Naxal plot to kill noted dignitaries like the Prime Minister or Rajiv Gandhi assassination-type plot.

He further said that the aim of the entire exercise was to “create a climate of real threat”.

Appearing for the complainant, senior counsel Harish Salve said that the court has to decide where free speech ends and unlawful activities begin. “If unlawful activities are involved, the investigation must continue.”

Dwelling on the dangers of seeking court-monitored SIT probe every time, Salve said “if they did not trust the CBI, NIA, who will they call? the FBI”.

“There is a danger of embarking on the path of SIT probe. People are framed day in and day out. Four tiers of courts are there,” Salve said noting that all important cases end up in the apex court.

Advocate and trade union activist Sudha Bhardwaj, Telugu poet P Varavara Rao, activist Gautam Navlakha, and lawyers Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves were arrested by the Pune Police on August 28 for their alleged links with Naxals.

The court was hearing a plea by filed by historian Romila Thapar and activist Maya Daruwala against the arrest of five activists.


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