‘Police Should Be More Responsible’: SC On Bhima Koregaon Case
Five activists — lawyer and trade union activist Sudha Bhardwaj, poet P Varavara Rao, activist Gautam Navlakha, and lawyers Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves — had been arrested on 28 August. 
Five activists — lawyer and trade union activist Sudha Bhardwaj, poet P Varavara Rao, activist Gautam Navlakha, and lawyers Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves — had been arrested on 28 August. (Photo altered by The Quint)

‘Police Should Be More Responsible’: SC On Bhima Koregaon Case

While extending the house arrest of the five activists in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence till 12 September, the Supreme Court reprimanded the Maharashtra police especially over the press conference that they held revealing the details of the case.

The bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra took umbrage over the statements given by the Assistant Commissioner of Police of Pune on the matter, saying he was casting aspersions on the court.

The bench, which also comprised Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud, told the Maharashtra government to make its police officials "more responsible" on matters pending before the court, reported PTI.

You must ask your police officials to be more responsible. The matter is before us and we don’t want to hear from police officials that the Supreme Court is wrong.
SC Bench to ASG Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for the Maharashtra government
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Asserting that he had seen the "press conference carefully", Justice Chandrachud reportedly said the police officers attempted to make an insinuation against the court in the matter.

There was an attempt to throw an aspersion and say SC should not have taken up this matter. A police officer has no business doing these things.
Justice DY Chandrachud, as quoted by Scroll

ASG Tushar Mehta then apologised on behalf of the Maharashtra government.

Also Read : SC Extends Activists’ House Arrest Till 12 Sept, Slams Maha Police

But no formal order was issued by the court to stop the police from sharing information with the media, reported Hindustan Times.

The bench also asked petitioner Romila Thapar and others to satisfy it on whether a third party could intervene in a criminal case.

Meanwhile, Mehta told the bench that keeping the activists under house arrest would hamper the ongoing investigation.

The bench posted the matter for further hearing on 12 September.

The Maharashtra government had on Wednesday told the apex court that the five rights activists were arrested due to the cogent evidence linking them with the banned CPI (Maoist) and not because of their dissenting views.

Among the activists who were arrested by the police on 28 August were Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha. Raids were conducted at the houses of several other activists also.

Also Read : Bombay HC Questions Police’s Press Briefing on Activists’ Arrests

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