Bhima-Koregaon case: SC extends interm order of house arrest of all 5 activists; next hearing on September 19


Bhima-Koregaon case: SC extends interm order of house arrest of all 5 activists; next hearing on September 19



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The PIL by historian Romila Thapar and four other eminent persons over the arrest of five activists in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence hearing in the Supreme Court today as ASGs Tushar Mehta and Maninder Singh and Senior Advocate Harish Salve engaged in a war of words with Senior Counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Anand Grover, Ashwani Kumar and Rajeev Dhawan and Advocate Prashant Bhushan. 

The bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice D. Y. Chandrachud and Justice A. M. Khanwilkar clarified that any decision shall be taken only upon a perusal of the evidence and other materials. 

Dr. Singhvi faced resistance in opening his arguments with:
     “Your Lordships are the custodians of the Constitution…Your Lordships must decide whether this is just ‘dissent’ or something else which involves the criminal law…persons who are strangers to the allegations have come before Your Lordships saying that as per their perception, the individuals arrested are social activists and incapable of committing the acts they have been charged with…when Your Lordships go through the evidence we have placed on record, you will also feel as citizens…these materials have been retrieved from computers, laptops, pen drives, hard-disks etc…to do away with any claims that the evidence was planted, from the moment the police knocked on their doors till the time the evidence was sealed, everything has been video-graph…”

ASG Maninder Singh point out for the propriety of the criminal law procedure-

      “the problem of naxalism is not limited to one region but is is transcending states and becoming a serious national concern…is it that the investigation (in the case at hand) is not being conducted correctly or that the courts below are not good enough to deal with the matter? The moment Dr. Singhvi is allowed to open the case, it would seem so…Such a situation has not arisen at all! What is the basis of questioning what is happening? This would be dangerous for the courts as well as the accused…I am not doubting Your Lordships’ jurisdiction. I am only on the basic issue of procedure- that it is the judicial officers who are the competent authority to look into this…”

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Advocate Prashant Bhushan point out the allegations as “cooked-up stories”, the Chief Justice noted, “we have to see what is cooked up and what is the probability of it (being so)…we will have to see the record to ascertain if there is something in real…how can we adjudicate against them without looking at the evidence that the investigative agency has compiled? We will see how far they have proceeded in the investigation and if it calls for an interference”…

Senior Advocate Anand Grover submit that the provisions of the Cr. P. C. on arrest and search had not been adhered to. “this is an oppressive prosecutorial process…statutory morality must yield to constitutional morality…Article 32 owes no justification to anything”, pressed Dr. Ashwani Kumar.


“Just by naming Articles 21 and 32, constitutional morality is not immediately moved. We must look at the material”…
The hearing shall resume on 19th September, and interm order will continued. 

Source: LiveLaw 

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