SC extends house arrest of rights activists till Sept 17

Faridabad: Activist Lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj arrested by the Pune police who carried out searches at multiple places in various states on the residences of people suspected to have Maoist links; in Faridabad on Aug 28, 2018. (Photo: IANS)
Sudha Bharadwaj was among those detained and arrested in a midnight raid: File photo

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday extended the house arrest of five rights activists who were nabbed in connection with the Koregaon-Bhima violence case till September 17.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud adjourned the hearing on the plea filed by historian Romila Thapar and four others to September 17 after it was submitted that senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, who is representing the petitioners, was busy in another court.

Earlier, Singhvi appeared before the bench and submitted that the hearing on Thapar's plea be conducted after 12 noon as he has to appear in another matter.

The court was hearing the plea filed against the arrest of the rights activists, Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha.

The Maharashtra police had arrested the five activists on August 28 in connection with an FIR lodged after a conclave, 'Elgaar Parishad', held on December 31 last year. The event had triggered violence at Koregaon-Bhima village.

On August 29, the apex court had ordered house arrest would suffice in the case of the activists adding that 'dissent is the safety valve of democracy.'

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