State moves SC for more time

Mubarak Ansari
Friday, 26 October 2018

Pune police want more time to file chargesheet in Elgar Parishad case; SC hearing on Monday

PUNE: A day after the Bombay High Court set aside Pune district court’s order of granting 90 days extension to file chargesheet in the Elgar Parishad case, the Pune city police on Thursday moved the Supreme Court (SC). A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi heard the submissions of police and allowed the matter to be listed on Monday. 

Advocate Nishant Katneshwar, who is appearing for the Maharashtra government, submitted that if the High Court order is not stayed, then accused persons would become entitled for grant of statutory bail for want of non-filing of chargesheet within the stipulated period. “The SC will hear our appeal on Monday, October 29”, ACP Shivaji Pawar, who is investigating the case, told Sakal Times.

The five arrested persons advocate Surendra Gadling (49) of Nagpur, activists Sudhir Pralhad Dhawale (50) of Mumbai, Rona Jacob Wilson (47) of New Delhi, Prof Dr Shoma Sen (58) of Nagpur and Mahesh Sitaram Raut (31) of Nagpur, all currently lodged in Yerwada Central Jail, had moved the High Court stating that the district didn’t follow procedure while granting extension time to police.

Their petition stated, “A report seeking extension of time should be filed by the public prosecutor and the court after taking into account the said report, may extend the period by a further 90 days i.e., upto 180 days. In the present case, the application was moved by the police officer and no report was submitted by the public prosecutor. Thus, there is no compliance of section 43-D of the  Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.”

According to the police, all the five are accused of conspiring the violence and playing a major role in organising the Elgar Parishad at Shaniwarwada on December 31, 2017, and also for inciting the violence at Koregaon-Bhima a day later (on January 1, 2018).   

“The accused persons are being prosecuted for very serious offence that they have provoked terrorism and responsible for communal tension in Maharashtra. Due to their unlawful activities, violence occurred at Bhima-Koregaon and they have connections with Communist Part of India (Mao), the banned organisation,” the police had submitted to the High Court. However, High Court judge Mridula Bhatkar had dismissed the police submission and set aside district court order giving 90 days more time to the police.” 

- In their petition before the Supreme Court, police stated, “The High Court has resorted to a pedantic view rather than resorting to a pragmatic view. The investigating officer has filed a report of the application under his signature giving reasons for extension of time on 30.08.2018. On the very same day, the public prosecutor submitted her report/application carving out the grounds for extension of time. 
- The public prosecutor, by way of abundant precaution, took signature of the investigating officer. But the High Court was carried away by the fact of signature of the investigating officer and arrived at a conclusion that the report/application was not by the public prosecutor.”

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