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A Habeas Corpus petition filed on behalf of Sudha Bharadwaj before the Punjab and Haryana High Court following her arrest by the Pune Police has been withdrawn today, with liberty to take up other remedies as per law.
“We will be approaching the High Court again through Sudha Bharadwaj either under Article 226 or Section 482 CrPC. We will also be filing a regular bail before the Pune Sessions Court”, confirmed Advocates RS Bains and Arjun Sheoran, who appeared for Bharadwaj before the Bench of Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan.
Expressing its mind at the beginning of the hearing, the Court said that it was not in agreement with the Delhi High Court order and was inclined to dismiss the present Habeas Corpus Petition.
The State also mentioned that an SLP was filed before the Supreme Court. The Court, therefore, asked the counsels to withdraw the present habeas corpus petition with liberty to seek remedies as per law.
The Habeas Corpus petition filed through Ankit Grewal (for Sundha Bhardwaj) stated that the documents of arrest given to Bharadwaj were in Marathi, a language she does not understand. This, the petition stated, fell foul of Section 165 and 166 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Further, neither the grounds nor the purpose of conducting the search in terms of Section 165(1) were made available to Bharadwaj.
On August 28, the day of the arrest, Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan had ordered that Bharadwaj remain under house arrest, while staying her transit remand to Pune till August 30.
A day after the arrests, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court on behalf of Sudha Bhardwaj, Gautam Navlakha and three other arrestees – Vernon Gonsalves, Varavara Rao and Arun Ferreira. The petition called for a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the arrests of the above mentioned. The Court issued notice in the matter and posted it for September 6. After hearing the parties, the Court reserved its order.
Then, on September 28, the majority of the Supreme Court Bench of then Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud refused the prayer for constitution of an SIT, and directed that the house arrest of the activists continue for another four weeks. Justice Chandrachud had dissented from the majority, and was of the view that an SIT should have been constituted.
The detained activists were granted liberty to take recourse to “appropriate remedy as may be permissible in law”.