SC defers hearing on Maharashtra's plea in Koregaon-Bhima violence case

11 Dec 2018

The Supreme Court today deferred to next month the hearing on Maharashtra government's appeal challenging the Bombay High Court refusal to extend the 90-day limit for filing chargesheet in the Koregaon-Bhima violence case.
The top court, which had asked the state government to submit the "gist" of allegations and the probe report filed against rights activists arrested in the case, took note of the submissions of a senior lawyer, appearing for one of the accused, that the hearing be adjourned. "We cannot hear this today in any case. We have not read the documents, running into 8,000 pages (chargesheet and gist)," a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi told senior lawyer Indira Jaising who mentioned the matter and sought adjournment of today's scheduled hearing. The bench suggested that the hearing be adjourned "sine die" (adjournment of proceedings with no date of resumption).
Jaising, representing accused Surendra Pundlik Gadling, opposed it saying that all the accused are in jail and let the case be listed for hearing on January 8. "Madam (Jaising), you cannot have both ways!," the bench said, but later assured that a date for hearing would be fixed shortly. Earlier, the apex court had directed the state government to submit before it by December 8 the "gist" of allegations and the charge sheet filed against arrested rights activists in the case. It had fixed the case for hearing on December 11. The bench had said that it wanted to see the "charges" against the accused, who are in jail since their arrest in June this year. It had also asked the state government to file a detailed report to the allegation that police had foisted another criminal case against Gadling.
The top court was hearing an appeal of the state government against a Bombay High Court order refusing to extend the time limit of 90 days by another 90 days for filing the probe report in the violence case. The apex court had stayed the Bombay High Court order.