Dissenting SC judgment vindicates our stand: Petitioners

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New Delhi, Sep 28 (IANS) As the Supreme Court on Friday refused to interfere in the arrest of five rights activists, the five petitioners in the case said that their stand had been “vindicated” by the “dissenting verdict” delivered by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud.

The Supreme Court, by a 2:1 majority judgment, also rejected the plea for a SIT probe into the Bhima-Koregaon case.

The five rights activists, accused of having links with Maoists, were arrested on August 28 by Pune police in connection with a probe into the Bhima-Koregaon violence on January 1.

Addressing the media here, historian Romila Thapar — who is one of the five petitioners who challenged the arrest of the five activists — said that due to the top court’s judgment the liberty and dignity of the human rights activists had not been “jeopardised” for the time being.

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Supreme Court advocate Vrinda Grover, who represented the petitioners, said: “Justice Chandrachud has categorically held that liberty cannot be sacrificed at the altar of conjecture.”

Citing Justice Chandrachud, Grover said: “The role of the court seeks particularly sensitive balance when the state seeks to curb the freedom to investigate perceived breaches involving offences against the state.”

Economist Prabhat Patnaik said that under “draconian” laws in the country, the accused don’t get bail and the trial drags on for years.

“Even if the activists are acquitted after many years, they actually undergo imprisonment,” he added.

The five petitioners demanded a fair investigation in the case.

Apart from Romila Thapar, social activist Maja Daruwala, Satish Deshpande, Prabhat Patnaik and Devaki Jain were the five petitioners in the case.

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