New Delhi, Sep 28 (PTI) The sensational claim by Maharashtra Police that the five activists arrested in connection with the Koregaon-Bhima violence case were allegedly plotting to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday found only a mention in the Supreme Court’s majority verdict without a finding. Also Read - Coronavirus in Maharashtra: Total Positive Count Crosses 1,000-mark, 150 New Cases in Last 24 Hours
The dissenting verdict by Justice D Y Chandrachud noted however that no effort was made by the law officer, representing the Maharashtra government, to submit that any such probe was being conducted against the five arrested activists. Also Read - Maharashtra: Police Personnel Deployed at 'Matoshree' to be Tested For COVID-19 After Tea Vendor in Area Tested Positive For Coronavirus
The apex court by a majority verdict of 2:1 rejected the plea for immediate release of five rights activists and refused to appoint an SIT to probe their arrest. Also Read - 'Demonising Community': In Top Court, Muslim Body Seeks End to 'Fake News' Over Tablighi Jamaat
The minority verdict said that course of investigation in the case was sought to be deflected by alleging that there was a plot against the Prime Minister.
“On the contrary, he (ASG) fairly stated that there was no basis to link the five arrested individuals to any such alleged plot against the Prime Minister. Nor does the counter affidavit (by the police) makes any averment to that effect,” Justice Chandrachud said.
He also deprecated the conduct of police in releasing an alleged letter claiming that arrested persons were plotting to attack the Prime Minister.
“The course of the investigation was sought to be deflected by alleging (in the course of the press briefings of the police) that there was a plot against the Prime Minister. Such an allegation is indeed of a serious order,” he said.
“Such allegations require responsible attention and cannot be bandied about by police officers in media briefings,” he said while raising a question as to whether the Maharashtra Police could be trusted to carry out an independent and impartial probe in the case.
Justice A M Khanwilkar, who penned the majority verdict for Chief Justice Dipak Misra and himself, also noted the submissions of the petitioners that the basis of arrest of five activists – Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha – was their alleged involvement in planning the assassination of the Prime Minister but there neither any allegation to that effect in the FIR nor has any fresh case was registered by the police.
The police had earlier claimed that a letter, which talks about the alleged assassination plot, was recovered from the house of one of the accused arrested in connection with the case.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.