Justice Bhat recuses from hearing Navalakha's plea 

Supreme Court of India. (Photo/PTI)

A Supreme Court judge, Justice S Ravindra Bhat on Thursday recused from hearing a plea by activist Gautam Navalakha to quash an FIR lodged by Pune Police in connection with Bhima Koregaon violence. He has become the fifth judge in the Supreme Court to recuse from the case.

Earlier, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi was the first one to withdraw himself from the case on September 30.

On October 1, a bench of Justices N V Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and B R Gavai had also recused from the case.

"List on 03.10.2019 before a bench of which none of us (N V Ramana, R Subhash Reddy and B R Gavai, JJ.) are members," the bench had then ordered.

On Thursday, as soon as the case came up for hearing before a new bench led by Justices Arun Mishra, Justice Bhat preferred to withdraw. Justice Vineet Saran was another judge on the bench.

Navalakha, in his special leave petition, challenged the validity of the Bombay High Court's order of September 13 that had declined to quash an FIR lodged against him and others, early last year by the Pune police for his alleged Maoist links and involvement in the Bhima Koregaon violence.

He was being investigated for his alleged role in Elgar Parishad held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which allegedly led to caste violence on January 1, 2018.

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