The three-judge bench of Supreme Court of India headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, in a 2:1 verdict, refused the plea seeking the immediate release of the activists.
Order : September 28, 2018
“Accordingly, this writ petition is disposed of with liberty to the concerned accused to take recourse to appropriate remedy as may be permissible in law. The interim order passed by this Court on 29th August, 2018 shall continue for a period of four weeks to enable the accused to move the concerned court. The said proceedings shall be decided on its own merits uninfluenced by any observation made in this judgment, which is limited to the reliefs claimed in the writ petition to transfer the investigation to an independent Investigating Agency and/or Court-monitored investigation. The Investigating Officer is free to proceed against the concerned accused as per law. All the accompanying applications are also disposed of in terms of this judgment”. [Read the Judgment]
During the arguments, Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Dr. Rajeev Dhawan, Dr. Ashwani Kumar learned senior counsel and Mr. Prashant Bhushan, learned counsel appearing for the writ petitioners and Mr. Anand Grover, learned senior counsel appearing for the arrested persons.
The writ petition was filed on 29th August, 2018 and mentioned for urgent directions before the Chief Justice of India on the same day.
The writ petitioners prayed for the following orders:
i) Issue an appropriate writ, order or direction, directing an independent and comprehensive enquiry into arrest of these human rights activists in June and August 2018 in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence.
ii) Issue an appropriate writ, order or direction, calling for an explanation from the State of Maharashtra for this sweeping round of arrests;
iii) Issue an appropriate writ, order or direction, directing the immediate release from custody of all activists arrested in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence and staying any arrests until the matter fully investigated and decided by
iv) Pass any such other order as may be deemed appropriate.”
On 17th April, 2018 the Investigating Agency conducted searches at the residence of eight persons, namely:
1) Rona Wilson, R/o Delhi
2) Surendra Gadling, R/o Nagpur
3) Sudhir Dhawala and Harshali Potdar, R/o Mumbai
4) Sagar Gorakhe, R/o Pune
5) Dipak Dhengale, R/o Pune
6) Ramesh Gyachore and Jyoti Jagtap, R/o Pune
and arrested them.
After the incriminatory material came to light, further offences under Sections 13, 16, 17, 18, 18-B, 20, 38, 39 and 40 of the UAPA are added on 17th May, 2018 against the following individuals:
1) Surendra Gadling, R/o Nagpur
2) Rona Wilson, R/o Delhi
3) Shoma Sen R/o Nagpur
4) Mahes Raut R/o Nagpur and Gadchiroli
5) Comrade M. alias Milind Teltumbade [underground]
6) Comrade Prakash alias Navin alias Rituparn Goswami
R/o Assam [underground]
7) Comrade Manglu [underground]
8) Comrade Dipu and other underground members.
Cause title :
WRIT PETITION (CRIMINAL) NO 260 OF 2018 (D NO 32319)
ROMILA THAPAR AND ORS ..PETITIONERS
UNION OF INDIA AND ORS ..RESPONDENTS
The majority verdict said the protection of house arrest shall remain in force for four weeks to enable the accused to seek appropriate legal remedy at appropriate legal forum.