The Supreme Court Friday declined an urgent hearing of a review petition filed by historian Romila Thapar in the case of the arrests of five Left-wing activists in the Bhima Koregaon case, reported news agency ANI. Thapar’s petition had sought a review of the Supreme Court ruling rejecting a SIT probe into the arrests of activists Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferriera, Sudha Bhardwaj, and Gautam Navlakha.
The court also allowed the Maharashtra Police to continue with the investigation.
On September 28, the apex court, headed by then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra had extended the interim house arrest of the activists and also refused a SIT probe into the arrests. In a 2-1 verdict, the court declined to interfere in the proceedings, saying “dissenting views expressed or difference in political ideology” had nothing to do with the case.
Ruling on petitions by historian Thapar and others, CJI Misra and Justice Khanwilkar (he wrote the order for both) said they had examined the material gathered by police during the investigation and were “of the considered opinion that it is not a case of arrest because of mere dissenting views expressed or difference in the political ideology of the named accused, but concerning their link with the members of the banned organisation and its activities”.
The five activists were held by the Pune police on August 28. They were put under house arrest on August 29 following an apex court order on the plea by Thapar, economists Prabhat Patnaik and Devaki Jain, sociology professor Satish Deshpande and human rights lawyer Maja Daruwala against the police action.