The Delhi High Court had quashed the transit remand orders against Gautam Navlakha in the Bhima Koregaon case and directed for his release from house arrest
The Maharashtra government has moved the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court order freeing journalist and human rights activist Gautam Navlakha, one of the five rights activists arrested by the Maharashtra police on August 28 in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case.
The plea was filed in the apex court, on Wednesday (October 3), challenging the Delhi High Court order, Nishant Katneshwar, counsel for the Maharashtra government said.
On Monday, a bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel had set aside the August 28 order of chief metropolitan magistrate granting transit remand of Navlakha saying there was non-compliance of basic provisions of the Constitution and the CrPC which were mandatory in nature.
The bench had said that the trial court order was unsustainable in law. “In view of Section 56 read with Section 57 of the CrPC and absence of remand order of the CMM, the detention of the petitioner has clearly exceeded 24 hours which is untenable in law. Consequently the house arrest of the petitioner comes to an end now,” the court said.
Navlakha and the other four activists – Sudha Bhardwaj, Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves – were arrested on August 28 following pan-India raids conducted by the Pune-wing of Maharashtra police. The arrests purportedly were the result of alleged evidence uncovered against these activists of their possible involvement in the January 1 Elgar Parishad programme in Bhima Koregaon near Pune which preceded communal clashes between members of the Scheduled Caste community and upper caste Marathas. One person had been killed in these clashes.
On August 29, all five activists had been placed under interim house arrest following an apex court order on a plea filed by historian Romila Thapar, economists Prabhat Pattnaik and Devaki Jain, sociology professor Satish Deshpande and human rights lawyer Maja Daruwala. Last week, the Supreme Court had dismissed the petition filed by Thapar and others and allowed the Maharashtra police to continue its investigation against the five civil liberties activists. The top court had, however, granted the activists the liberty to seek redressal from appropriate courts on the police action against them.
— India Legal Bureau