New Delhi, April 8: The Supreme Court on Wednesday granted one more week’s time to Bhima Koregaon case accused Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde to surrender and made it clear that no further extension would be granted.
A bench of Justice Arun Mishra and Indira Banerjee, extending interim protection from arrest to both Navlakha and Telumbde for a week, clarified that this order shall not be treated as a precedent.
“Though we expected that the accused would surrender, honoring the order of this court, they have not done so. We are told that in Bombay, the courts are functioning. It would have been appropriate for the accused to surrender as the courts are open,” the bench said.
The court disposing of the petition saying, “Since the petitioners have enjoyed the protection for long, by way of last opportunity, we extend the time granted to surrender for one week. We make it clear that there shall not be any further extension of time. This order shall not be treated as a precedent.”
On March 16, the top court had granted them three weeks to surrender.
The duo had approached the Supreme Court seeking more time to surrender in the Bhima Koregaon case.
During the hearing, held through video conferencing, the lawyer of activists told the top court that both activists are over 65 years old, have heart ailments and that going to prison during this time of Coronavirus is “virtually a death sentence”.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta opposed the plea and said this is only a mechanism to buy time and added that both activists facing serious charges.
On January 1, 2018, violence had erupted during the 200th-anniversary celebrations of the Bhima-Koregaon battle. One person was killed and several others were injured in the incident. The police have filed 58 cases against 162 people in the matter.