New Delhi , Sep 17 : As the Supreme Court on Monday resumed the hearing for the arrests of five activists made by Maharashtra Police in relation to the Bhima-Koregaon violence on January 1, 2018, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra observed that we are not going to any extreme propagation, but wanted to see whether the case is connected to Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) or article 32 of the Indian Constitution.
Supreme Court has fixed Sept 19 as the next date of hearing and said “criminal investigations are based on allegations only”.
The Central government wants to produce the case diary and other evidence on September 19 hearing.
The five activists-Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj, and Gautam Navlakha were arrested on 28 August by Maharashtra Police in connection with an FIR lodged following a conclave — ‘Elgaar Parishad’ — held on December 31 last year that had later triggered violence at Koregaon-Bhima village in the state. The five activists remain under house arrest since 29 August as directed by the apex court and they do not have access to mobile phones or communication media such as the Internet, landline telephones etc..
Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Senior lawyer appearing for many petitioners, has submitted that the case should be properly probed by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) or there should be a court monitored probe.
Abhishek Manu Singhvi sid, “We have directly come to SC, as we only need a court-monitored investigation or a CBI or NIA probe, to ascertain what the case is and who is involved in it.”
Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj, and Gautam Navlakha were arrested and remain under house arrest as directed by the apex court and they do not have access to mobile phones or communication media such as the Internet, landline telephones etc.
Senior Lawyer Tushar Mehta,appearing for Maharashtra government argued before the Supreme Court, ‘The accused persons have not only been arrested for their alleged involvement in the case but they also seem to be disrupting peace in the country.’
“Many alleged incriminating documents were also recovered from the accused during raids,”Tushar Mehta, has opposed the petition filed regarding the arrests of the activists.
He further said that the people who filed the petition are neither related to the case and “have no idea about it”.
“They (the arrested activists) are involved in not only planning and preparing for violence but were in the process of creating large-scale violence, destruction of property resulting into chaos in the society as per the agenda prepared by the Communist Party of India (Maoist),” the affidavit issued by the Maharashtra Government said.
The affidavit also claimed that the arrests made after the multiple raids across the country were of “active members of the banned terrorist organisation Communist Party of India (Maoist)”.
Another “fact-finding” committee that was constituted, had said that the attacks on January 1 were “pre-planned”. The masterminds were right-wing activists Sambhaji Bhide, and Milind Ekbote.