The Supreme Court on Friday, October 4, granted interim protection to social activist Gautam Navlakha from arrest till October 15 in the Bhima Koregaon case.
The apex court was hearing Navlakha's plea challenging the Bombay High Court's order, which refused to quash an FIR filed against him, by the Pune Police in the Bhima-Koregaon case.
Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta also asked the Maharashtra government to place all materials collected from Navlakha during the probing against him on October 15, the next date fixed for hearing.
An FIR was filed against five persons -- Navlakha, Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Sudha Bharadwaj — in January 2018 following the Elgar Parishad on December 31, 2017, which allegedly sparked violence in Bhima-Koregaon in Pune district on January 1, 2018.
On September 13, the Bombay High Court rejected Navlakha's plea seeking quashing of the FIR filed against him for his alleged Maoist links and involvement in the Bhima-Koregaon incident.
Earlier after the Bombay High Court rejected his plea, the Maharashtra government filed a caveat in the Supreme Court anticipating Navlakha's appeal against the High Court's order.
Navlakha and nine other human rights activists were arrested by the Pune Police from different parts of India for their alleged role in the caste riots that took place in Bhima-Koregaon on January 1, 2018. The accused were booked under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act
Among other things, they have been accused of having alleged links with the banned CPI (Maoist) and hatching a conspiracy to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi and topple the elected government.
(With agency inputs)