25, Oct 2018 | CJP Team
The Maharashtra government has moved the Supreme Court challenging the Bombay High Court order that set aside a Pune court order granting an extension of 90 days for investigation into the alleged Maoist links of five arrested activists by the state police. The Supreme Court will hear the matter on October 26.
Calling the order of the lower court granting extension of time to the Pune police to file a charge sheet against Surendra Gadling as ‘illegal’, Justice Mridula Bhatkar of the Bombay High Court had, yesterday, October 23, quashed the Pune court order. The HC order had paved the way for Gadling and other activists to be released on bail. However the Judge stayed her own order from becoming operational till November 1, following a request from the Maharashtra government, thus giving time to the state to appeal.
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A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi considered the submissions of lawyer Nishant Katneshwar, appearing for the Maharashtra government, and acknowledged that the appeal needed to be heard on an urgent basis, PTI reported.
Appearing before the court, Katneshwar said if the Bombay High Court order is not stayed, then the accused in the case would become entitled for grant of statutory bail for want of non-filing of chargesheet within the stipulated period.
The SLP filed by the Maharashtra Government may be read here.
Earlier, after extending the house arrest of the five other activists (who had been attempted to be arrested on August 28) till October 28, the Supreme Court refused to interfere with the arrest of these activists and declined the demand of appointing a SIT to investigate the matter. A strong dissenting judgement by Justice Chandrachud had however taken a different view of the case. Justice Chandrachud’s Dissent in the Activists Arrest Case may be read here.
In a sensational crackdown, the Maharashtra Police had arrested five activists; Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha, for alleged Maoist links in the aftermath of violence that occurred at Bhima Koregaon near Pune last year. The first bout of arrests took place in June 2018 (after raids had been conducted in April 2018). The second round was attempted on August 28.