New Delhi: Hearing in the five activists’ arrests in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence would continue in the Supreme Court on Thursday. House arrest of the five activists is to continue now. According to News18, the apex court bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud observed that “institutions must be robust enough to tackle opposition.” ANI reported lawyer Ashwini Kumar as telling the court, “The Court should ensure the liberty of persons against illegal incarceration. The criminal prosecution seems to be mala fide and arbitrary.” (Also read: Activists Planned Rajiv Gandhi-like Incident, Say Police)Also Read - 'Why Are Children Going To School And Adults Working From Home?': SC Chides Delhi Govt on Pollution
Observing that the liberty could not be stifled at the altar of conjecture, the bench 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.” Also Read - Vijay Mallya To Be Extradited Soon, Formalities in Final Stages
Arguing on behalf of the Maharashtra government, ASG Tushar Mehta said that the action against all accused was taken because there was cogent material against them. He said that except Sudhir, no one was arrested immediately. Mehta also placed the case diary before the bench, requesting it to have a glance at it. Mehta insisted there was no need of a search warrant for the raids. Also Read - NEET-PG Counselling 2021: Doctors Express Concern Over Postponement, Call For Nationwide Strike From Tomorrow
The raids on homes of left-leaning rights activists have been questioned in the case. The defence lawyers claimed that the police did not have the required permission before the raids. It was also reportedly alleged that the warrants were in Marathi and a translation wasn’t offered to non-Marathi activists.
Earlier, the apex court had indicated that it may order SIT probe if it found that evidence had been “cooked up” and the material supporting the arrest of the five rights activists in the Koregaon-Bhima violence case needed to be examined.
The plea was filed by historian Romila Thapar along with human right activists Prabhat Patnaik, Satish Deshpande and Maya Darnall, urging the apex court for an independent probe into the arrests. They also urged the SC to seek an explanation from Maharashtra for “sweeping round of arrest” in the case.
Arun Ferreira, Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves and Gautam Navlakha have been under detention since August 28. Telugu poet Rao was arrested on August 28 from Hyderabad, while activists Gonsalves and Ferreira were nabbed from Mumbai, trade union activist Sudha Bharadwaj from Faridabad in Haryana and civil liberties activist Navlakha from Delhi. The next day, the court intervened and asked the police to keep them under house arrest instead.