SC to hear petition related to activist Sudha Bhardwaj’s arrest, others in the evening

Sudha Bhardwaj

Academician Romila Thapar and four other rights activists have petitioned the SC to stay the arrest of the activists and hold an independent inquiry

The Hush Post: Academician Romila Thapar and four rights activists have challenged in the Supreme Court the arrest of five prominent activists by Pune police for alleged Maoists links after raids across five states on Tuesday. One of the activists Sudha Bhardwaj has been put under house arrest in Faridabad till August 30.

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra is likely to hear the petition later in the day today. Senior advocates Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Dushyant Dave and Indira Jaising appeared before the CJI when he assembled with other judges for a constitution bench hearing. Singhvi said the extraordinary situation made it necessary for him to mention the matter before a constitution bench.

Since the CJI could not take up any urgent matter while he heads a constitution bench, he asked Singhvi and others to come back at 3.45 pm before a three-judge bench, a new report said.Sudha Bhardwaj

Apart from Thapar, the others who have signed the petition are Devki Jain, Prabhat Patnaik, Satish Deshpande and Maya Daruwala.

The petitioners want the court to stay the arrest of the activists and hold an independent inquiry. They also urged the court seek explanation from Maharashtra for “sweeping round of arrests” in the case, PTI reported.

Lawyer and trade union activist Sudha Bhardwaj, revolutionary poet P Varavara Rao, civil rights activist and journalist Gautam Navlakha, and lawyers and activists Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves were arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy.

The arrests allegedly were part of an investigation into the violence that rocked Bhima Koregaon in Maharashtra on January 1 during the bicentennial celebration of a British-era war.

Sudha Bhardwaj was granted house arrest  on Monday night after a late night drama.  Bhardwaj was arrested from her home in Faridabad in presence of her daughter, friends and associates by the Pune Police.

On Monday evening, a local Pune magistrate dismissed her transit bail application while the Punjab and Haryana High court provided her relief, ordering that she could not be taken to Pune till the magistrate concerned took a call on her transit remand.

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