Bhima-Koregaon case: SC refuses relief to activists, extends house arrest

New Delhi The Supreme Court on Friday refused to grant relief to the five activists detained in the Bhima Koregaon violence case. The SC turned down their request for setting up of a Special Investigating Team (SIT) to look into the matter and allowed the Pune Police to go ahead with the probe. The Apex Court asked the activists, arrested in the Bhima Koregaon violence case, to approach an appropriate forum and go to trial court for relief. The Court also extended their house arrest for another four weeks.

The five activists namely poet Vara Vara Rao, lawyer Sudha Bhardwaj, activists Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Gautam Navlakha were placed under house arrest by a Supreme Court order since August 29. They were detained on August 28 from various cities for their alleged involvement in the case.

A three judge bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra and comprising of Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud had reserved its judgment in the case on September 20 after hearing arguments from senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Harish Salve, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta among others.

The decision comes on a plea filed by historian Romila Thapar, and four others who sought an independent probe into the arrests and immediate release of the activists.

While hearing the case, the Supreme Court Bench had also sought the entire case diary to examine how an investigation into the Bhima-Koregaon violence case had taken shape into a conspiracy of a ‘sovereign head’s’ assassination and plot to wreck “mass-destruction”, as being claimed by the police.