Bhima Koregaon raids: Supreme Court verdict on five arrested activists next week

The activists will continue to remain in house arrest until then.

Bhima Koregaon raids: Supreme Court verdict on five arrested activists next week

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has completed the hearing and reserved its order in the Bhima-Koregaon raids case against five activists. 

The activists will continue to remain in house arrest until then.

The top court, while reserving its order on petitions filed by historian Romila Thapar and others challenging the arrest of activists, also asked parties to file their written notes by Monday, September 24.

On Wednesday, historian Romila Thapar told the SC that the case against five activists was framed in the name of Saibaba, a former Delhi University Professor, who is serving life sentence for Maoist links.

Wrapping up their submissions, Maharashtra government lawyer Tushar Mehta claimed that Prakash Chetan and GN Saibaba are names of one person. “He not only knows Hindi but can deliver speeches in Hindi,” said Mehta.

He added the letter seized by law agencies mention several conspiracies. 

Harish Salve, the advocate of complainants, argued that the system is robust enough to free them in case of no evidence.

Democratic institutions should be robust enough to accommodate opposition and that a distinction has to be drawn between an opposition, attempt to create a disturbance or overthrow the government, the SC said earlier.

Observing that the liberty could not be stifled at the altar of conjecture, the bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y.Chandrachgud said: "our institutions should be robust enough to accommodate opposition either to the system or even to this court. We will look at this case with a hawk`s eye."

Maharashtra Police, on August 28, had arrested five activists, claiming they had links to the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist). The raids triggered strong criticism against the police, leading the cops to defend and claim that they had strong evidence against the arrested activists.

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