SC gives Bombay HC 8 weeks to decide on quashing FIR

SC gives Bombay HC 8 weeks to decide on quashing FIR

The Supreme Court. File photo

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Bombay High Court to decide a plea for quashing of an FIR filed by human rights activist Gautam Navalakha within eight weeks in the Bhima-Koregaon violence case.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna kept the petition filed by the Maharashtra government challenging the Delhi High Court's order of October 1, 2018 that set aside transit remand order against Navalakha. The HC has freed him from house arrest as well. He was one of five activists arrested on August 28, 2018.

Advocate Nishant R Katneshwarkar, appearing for the state government, contended the HC could not entertain a writ of habeas corpus and quashed the transit remand in the case of lawful arrest.

He said the high court also went ahead to quash the remand on the basis of the absence of case diary. The counsel said under Section 167 (1) and (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code, the case diary was to be produced before the jurisdictional magistrate only.

The bench, however, said since a petition filed by Navalakha was pending before the Bombay High Court for quashing of the FIR, let it first decide the matter within eight weeks. The Bombay HC had extended the protection from arrest to Navalakha as an interim measure.

The Maharashtra police had arrested Navalakha from the national capital on August 28. The other activists were also arrested from different parts of the country in connection with the FIR lodged following a conclave -- Elgaar Parishad -- held on December 31, 2017, that had allegedly triggered violence later at the Bhima-Koregaon village in the state.