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Activists Arrest: Justice DY Chandrachud Dissents From Majority Opinion, Says SIT Should Be Constituted, Acts Of Maharashtra Police An Impression That Investigation Is Not Fair.

He also slammed the Maharashtra police for holding a press conference and "casting cloud on fairness of investigation."

Justice DY Chandrachud on Friday opposed the Supreme Court’s decision to not constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to look into the arrests of lawyers and rights activists made in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence case.

Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra led the three-judge bench. While the majority opinion refused SIT probe, in his dissenting opinion, Justice Chandrachud said that he doesn’t agree with CJI Misra and Justice AM Khanwilkarand and that SIT should be constituted, reported  Bar&Bench.

“Technicalities should not be allowed to override substantive justice. The present petiton not motivated by political aspects,” Chandrachud said.

He said the petition was genuine and lashed out at Maharashtra police for press meet, distribution of letters to media.

Chandrachud said, “Letter alleged to be written by Sudha Bhardwaj was flashed on a TV channel, Police selectively disclosing probe details to media casting cloud on fairness of investigation. Acts of Maharashtra police raises question whether Maharashtra police can be trusted to carry out the investigation.”

Also Read: Human Rights Activists Arrest: Supreme Court Rejects Plea For SIT Probe In Bhima Koregaon Case

He said liberty cherished by the Constitution would have no meaning if persecution of the five activists is allowed without proper investigation.

Chandrachud also said that the court should proceed as if personal practices are essential but whether they are derogatory to liberty, dignity enshrined in Fundamental Rights.

LiveLaw quoted the judge as saying, “Extraordinary circumstances are there the present case..Conduct of Pune Police fortifies an impression that investigation is not fair…This is a fit and proper case for Court monitored SIT investigation.”

The apex court has extended house arrest of Sudha Bhardwaj, Gautam Navlakha, Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, and Arun Ferreira by four weeks.

(With PTI inputs)

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