NEW DELHI: In a major blow for five activists named in the Bhima Koregaon case, the Supreme Court on Wednesday aside a Bombay High Court order not giving 90 days more to the Maharashtra Police to file the charge sheet against them.
"Undoubtedly the request of an investigating officer for extension of time is not a substitute for a report of the public prosecutor but since we find that there has been, as per the comparison of two documents, an application of mind by the public prosecutor as well as endorsement by him, the infirmities in the form should not entitle the benefit of default bail to the accused when in substance, there has been an application of mind," the bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said.
Justice Kaul, who spoke on behalf of bench, noted that the detailed grounds certainly fall with the category of "compelling reasons" for the extension of time, IANS reported.
"We are, thus not able to persuade ourselves to agree with the conclusion of the single judge of Bombay High Court in the impugned order and hold that respondents (five accused activists) would not be entitled to the benefit of default bail," he said.
The five accused in this case are Surendra Gadling, Sudhir Dhawale, Mahesh Rout, Rona Wilson and Soma Sen. Maharashtra Police had arrested them from various locations in August 2018 for their alleged role in instigating caste violence on January 1, 2018 in Bhima Koregaon.
In its FIR, the Maharashtra Police had alleged that all the accused were the members of the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist and were in touch with the banned organisations.
(with IANS inputs)