The Supreme Court on Friday extended the house arrest of five rights activists for four weeks in connection with the infamous Bhima-Koregaon violence case and refused to constitute SIT investigation into their arrest. The five activists -- Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha — have been under house arrest since August 29.
Historian Romila Thapar, economists Prabhat Patnaik and Devaki Jain, sociology professor Satish Deshpande and human rights lawyer Maja Daruwala, sought an independent probe into the arrests and the immediate release of the activists.
Here are the Highlights on Bhima-Koregaon verdict:
# 11:50 am: Courts to proceed as if personal practices are essential but examine whether derogatory to liberty: Chandrachud.
# 11:44 am: Arrests were not because of dissent of activists, there is prima facie material to show their link with banned CPI (Maoist): CJI.
# 11:43 am: Chandrachud says the petition was genuine and lashes out at Maha police for press meet, distribution of letters to media.
# 11:42 am: Liberty cherished by Constitution would have no meaning if persecution of 5 activists is allowed without proper investigation: Chandrachud.
# 11:41 am: Justice Chandrachud says he is unable to agree with the view of CJI and Justice Khanwilkar.
# 11:40 am: Supreme Court says the activists arrested in Bhima Koregaon case can move the trial court for relief.
Supreme Court says the activists arrested in #BhimaKoregaon case can move trial court for relief— ANI (@ANI) September 28, 2018
# 11:37 am: Supreme Court extends house arrest for four weeks of five activists. The apex court refused to constitute SIT and asked Pune police to go ahead with the probe.
# 11:36 am: Supreme Court refuses to interfere in the arrest of five activists in Bhima-Koregaon case.
Supreme Court refuses to interfere in the arrest of five activists Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha in Bhima-Koregaon case. pic.twitter.com/2vOlPGWba3— ANI (@ANI) September 28, 2018
# 11:31 am: Accused can't choose which probe agency should examine case: Justice AM Khanwilkar.
Accused can't choose which probe agency should examine case: Justice AM Khanwilkar reading out the verdict on the arrest of activists Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha in Bhima-Koregaon case. pic.twitter.com/0uX1iGiqqq— ANI (@ANI) September 28, 2018
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A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had reserved the judgment on September 20 after counsel for both parties, including senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Harish Salve and Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, concluded their submissions.
The bench, that also comprised Justices AM Khaniwlkar and DY Chandrachud, had asked the Maharashtra police to file their case diary pertaining to the ongoing investigation in the case.
The Maharashtra police had arrested them on August 28 in connection with an FIR lodged following a conclave -- 'Elgaar Parishad' -- held on December 31 last year that had later triggered violence at Bhima-Koregaon village in the state.
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The apex court had on September 19 said it would look into the case with a "hawk's eye" as "liberty cannot be sacrificed at the altar of conjectures".
It had told the Maharashtra government that there should be a clear-cut distinction between opposition and dissent on one hand and attempts to create disturbance, law and order problems or overthrow the government on the other.
Senior advocate Anand Grover, Ashwini Kumar and advocate Prashant Bhushan had also alleged that the entire case was cooked up and adequate safeguards should be provided to protect the liberty of the five activists.
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The Supreme Court had also said that it may order an SIT probe if it found that the evidence has been "cooked up".