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Days after the Supreme Court refused to interfere in the arrest of several activists in connection with the Bhima Koregaon incident, the Delhi High Court today set aside the transit remand order passed by Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM), Delhi in the arrest of activist Gautam Navlakha.
A Division Bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel stated that in light of the “non-compliance” of the Constitution of India and the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC),
“It is obvious that the order passed by the CMM is unsustainable in law.“
The Court noted that the transit remand order was passed in violation of the mandate under Article 22 of the Constitution and Sections 41(1)(ba) and 167 of the CrPC.
It noted that the CMM had passed the order without due satisfaction with respect to the “existence” of material proving necessity of arrest.
It also noted that neither the case diary was perused by the CMM, nor were the grounds of arrest communicated to Navlakha. The Court thus lifted the house arrest order, stating,
“In view of Section 56 and 57 of CrPC and absence of remand order by the CMM, detention of Petitioner has exceeded 24 hours, which is untenable in law.“
The Bench further ordered as follows,
“Consequently, house arrest of Petitioner comes to an end as of now.“
While doing so, the Court rejected the argument of the Maharashtra Police to extend the house arrest by few more days.
It was observed that the Apex Court had extended the house arrest by four more weeks to allow the petitioner time to “avail the remedies” available under law.
The Court clarified that the Maharashtra Police may nonetheless proceed with the case in accordance with law.
Gautam Navlakha had moved the Delhi High Court soon after he was arrested on August 28. In his Habeas Corpus petition, Navlakha had challenged the manner of his arrest and the subsequent transit remand order passed by the CMM.
Navlakha was represented by Advocates Nitya Ramakrishnan, Warisha Farasat, Ashwath Sitaraman and Saad Uzzaman.
State of Delhi was represented by Standing Counsel Rahul Mehra, with Advocates Chaitanya Gosain and Tushar Sannu.
State of Maharashtra was represented by Advocates Vinay Navare and Dr. Ravindra Chingale.
Read the order: