The Supreme Court today granted interim relief to the five activists who were arrested by the Maharashtra Police yesterday in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence case.
The Supreme Court today granted interim relief to the five activists who were arrested by the Maharashtra Police yesterday in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence case. A three-judge bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra ordered that police can’t arrest the activists but they should be kept under house arrest till the next date of hearing on September 6.
The Supreme Court has also issued notices to the Maharashtra government and the state police in the matter.
“The court also issued notice to the Maharashtra government. The court ordered police that the activists should not be sent to the jail and they should be kept under the house arrest. The court will take up the matter for further hearing on September 6,” noted lawyer Prashant Bhushan told reporters outside the Supreme Court.
Making a strong observation, Justice DY Chandrachud said, “Dissent is the safety ball of this democracy. If you curb this dissent, this pressure valve will burst.”
During the course of the hearing, the Maharashtra government opposed the maintainability of plea, saying “strangers” cannot seek relief for activists who have already approached the High Court.
The court’s directions came on a plea by historian Romila Thapar and four other human right activists – Prabhat Patnaik, Devaki Jain, Satish Deshpandey and Maja Daruwala, against the arrest of the activists yesterday by Maharashtra Police for their alleged links with Maoists.
As part of a probe into “Elgar Parishad” conclave held on December 31 last year in near Pune, the Maharashtra Police had on Tuesday raided the homes of prominent Left-wing activists in five states and arrested at least five of them for suspected Maoist links. The December 31 conclave had triggered violence across Maharashtra leading to the death of one person and injuring over 30.
While prominent Telugu poet Varavara Rao was arrested from Hyderabad, activists Vernon Gonzalves and Arun Farreira were taken into custody from Mumbai. Trade union activist Sudha Bhardwaj was arrested from Faridabad whereas civil liberties activist Gautam Navalakha was arrested from Delhi.
While the Delhi High Court had yesterday restrained the police from transporting Navlakha from Delhi to Pune, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had also directed that Sudha should be kept at her own home until Maharashtra Police obtains transit remand for her.
Meanwhile, the CPI(M) has announced that a protest will be held at the Jantar Mantar in Delhi against the arrest of Left activists. “There will be a protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi tomorrow by the Left and all progressive groups against the unethical crackdown,” CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said.