The Supreme Court has dismissed a plea filed by historian Romila Thapar seeking a review of the September 28 majority verdict by which the apex court had refused immediate release of five rights activists held in connection with the Koregaon-Bhima violence case.
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. The court said the accused will remain under house arrest for four more weeks.
Ruling on petitions by historian Thapar and others, CJI Misra and Justice Khanwilkar 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”.
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud dismissed the plea on Friday, October 26. The order, however, was uploaded on Saturday, October 27.
"We have perused the review petition as well as the grounds in support thereof. In our opinion, no case for review of judgment dated September 28, 2018 is made out. The review petition is accordingly dismissed," the bench said.
On September 28, the court rejected a plea for immediate release of the five rights activists — Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha — arrested by the Maharashtra police on August 28.
The activists were arrested in connection with an FIR filed following a conclave — 'Elgaar Parishad' — held on December 31 last year that had allegedly triggered violence later at Koregaon-Bhima village in Maharashtra.
They were put under house arrest on August 29.