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Bhima Koregaon violence case: Justice Dipankar Datta recuses himself, another bench to hear bail plea on Monday

Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Dipankar Datta, on Thursday recused himself from hearing the bail applications of Bhima Koregaon case accused – Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira.

The matter related to bail applications of the accused was listed before the Division Bench of Justice Ravindra Bhat and Justice Datta. As soon as the matter was taken up, Justice Datta announced that he was recusing from the case.

Appearing for Gonsalves, Senior Counsel Rebecca John requested the Apex Court to list the matter urgently. 

Justice Bhat then directed the Registry to list the matter for hearing on January 16 before a Bench of which Justice Datta was not a member.

The petitioners contended that they have remained in custody since August 28, 2018, after they were arrested over their alleged Maoist links in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence of January, 2018.

The pleas challenged Bombay High Court order of December, 2021, which denied them default bail, while the same benefit was granted to co-accused Sudha Bharadwaj. 

In May 2022, the High Court had dismissed their petition seeking review of the order denying them default bail.

Justice Datta was the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court during the said period, although he was not part of the Bench that heard their bail applications.

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