Shruti Mahajan January 10 2019

bhima koregaon

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The Supreme Court today reserved its verdict in the appeal filed by the State of Maharashtra in the Bhima Koregaon case.

The two appeals listed before the Court were against the orders passed by Delhi High Court pertaining to Gautam Navlakha, and the Bombay High Court pertaining to Surendra Gadling and other activists.

The Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices L Nageswara Rao and Sanjay Kishan Kaul adjourned the hearing in the Gautam Navlkaha matter for four weeks. This appeal was against the Delhi High Court’s verdict that quashed the transit remand against Navlakha.

The appeal against the Bombay High Court’s order was heard at length today, with Senior Counsel Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for State of Maharashtra, submitting that it was relatively more urgent.

By way of background, Surendra Gadling, Rona Wilson, and others were arrested by the Pune Police in June, in relation to the Bhima Koregaon violence that took place earlier this year.

On August 30, an application under Section 43-D of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 was made by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Swargate Division, Pune with a view to extending the detention of the accused beyond the prescribed period of 90 days.

As per this provision, a court may grant extension of detention on being satisfied by an application made by the Public Prosecutor that the investigation could not be completed in 90 days. The detention period can be extended by another 90 days if this is the case.

The Special Court hearing the case against Gadling and others had extended the custody of the accused persons by 90 days on September 2. This prompted Gadling and the others arrested in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence to approach the Bombay High Court. The Bombay High Court had allowed the appeal, whereupon the State challenged the High Court order before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court had stayed the High Court order on October 29.

The Court reserved it orders in the matter today, after hearing submissions made by Senior Advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Anand Grover and Indira Jaising for the respondent activists