Pune police get more time to file chargesheet

On Saturday, the Pune police told the Shivajinagar court that they need more time to file the chargesheet. (PTI Photo)

In a significant development involving the Elgar Parishad- Bhima Koregaon cases, the Pune police on Sunday got an additional time of 90 days to file charge sheets against five human rights activists arrested for alleged Maoist-links in June.

These five accused are Surendra Gadling, General Secretary Indian Association of People’s Lawyers from Nagpur, Prof Shoma Sen, Head of Department of English, Nagpur University, Sudhir Dhawale, Editor, Vidrohi from Mumbai, Rona Wilson, Public Relations Secretary, Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CORPP) and Mahesh Raut, anti-displacement activist from Bharat Jan Andolan and former Fellow at Prime Minister’s Rural Development (PMRD) for Gadchiroli district.

On Saturday, the Pune police told the Shivajinagar court that they need more time to file the chargesheet.

The defence teams, however, objected to it and urged the court to schedule the hearing on Monday.

However, the prosecution told the court that since the investigation officer had to go for the hearing in the Supreme Court, they would like for the plea to be heard.

The court scheduled the hearing on Sunday- and an additional 90 days time was granted. All of accused were arrested on 6 June by the Pune police and since then have been behind bars.

The stipulated 90 days ends on Monday.

As per the norms, the chargesheet should be filed within 90 days from the date of arrest.

However, the Pune police sought additional time to file chargesheet as provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, were invoked in the case

The police had seized a letter from Wilson's residence that mentions of a plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the way Rajiv Gandhi was killed.

It may be recalled that a case registered on 8 January at Vishram Baug police station of Pune in Pune with regard to the holding of the Elgar Parishad at Shaniwarwada on 31, December 2017 by the Bhima-Koregaon Shaurya Din Prerna Abhiyan - on the eve of the 1 January 2018 caste riots.

This FIR, originally registered u/s 153(A), 505 (1)(b), 117 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), was made a conspiracy case in March 2018 and later had sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) added to it.

In the original FIR, Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mewani and Jawaharlal Nehru University students' leader Umar Khalid were named, however, no action so far was taken.

Similarly, there has been no action against the two main organisers of Elgar Parishad - Justice (Retd) PB Sawant, a former Supreme Court judge and former Chairman of Press Council of India and Justice (Retd) BG Kholse-Patil, a former judge of Bombay High Court and a veteran activist.

The Supreme Court hearing pertains to the second round of arrests on 28 August - in which Marxist ideologue P Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira were arrested.

The Supreme Court has ordered house arrest for them and scheduled the next hearing on 6 September.

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Pune police get more time to file chargesheet

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