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Arrested activists have no vested right to seek SIT probe into Bhima-Koregaon violence: Maharashtra to SC

The state also sought the dismissal of the petition of historian Romila Thapar against the arrests, saying that the allegations made are "moonshine allegations" against the probe agencies.

Published: 21st September 2018 02:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st September 2018 02:24 AM   |  A+A-

Activists Arrest

(T-B) Sudha Bharadwaj was arrested in Faridabad, Arun Ferreira in Mumbai, Writer Vara Vara Rao from Hyderabad, Journalist Gautam Navlakha from New-Delhi and 61-Year old Vernon Gonsalves from Mumbai. (File | Agencies)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Maharashtra government told the Supreme Court Thursday that the five rights activists arrested in the Koregaon-Bhima violence case have "no vested right" to seek court-monitored SIT investigation.

It also sought the dismissal of the petition of historian Romila Thapar against the arrest of the activists, saying that the allegations made are "moonshine allegations" against the probe agencies.

The state government, in its written submissions, told the bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that the accused be asked to surrender immediately to the investigating agency.

"It is clear that the said persons are seeking a dual remedy in the garb of a surrogate petition before this Court and the present petition is nothing but chance litigation," the submissions said.

Filing of two petitions for the same relief, one before the apex court and other before the Delhi High Court, "suffers from the vice of blatant and brazen attempt to abuse the process of law and amounts to forum shopping", the state government said.

"Persons arrested seek to make moonshine allegations against the investigating agencies on the ground that they are the 'activists' and, therefore, were 'hounded' in order to curb 'dissent'," it said.

It further said that there exists no right wherein the accused or the arrested person can seek to transfer the investigation to another investigating agency and cannot choose the mode, manner and the agency which will investigate his role in the alleged offence.

An investigation of an alleged offence is liable to be transferred to another investigating agency only where the investigation by the local state police lacked credibility, the state government said.

"Sufficiency or insufficiency of material is not and cannot be a ground for transferring investigation or ordering a monitored investigation.

It is submitted that the only grounds to seek a monitored investigation are proven/apparent malice, the inability of the investigating agency, ex facie doubt on the credibility of the investigation, lack of impartiality in the investigation," it said.

It added: "Once it is found that there is no illegality and/or violation of CrPC provision insofar as the arrest is concerned, it would not be with the arrested persons to approach this court to seek the relief which they are entitled to seek before the court in remand proceedings and/or bail proceedings." 

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