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Plea in HC seeks judicial custody for activists

THE ASIAN AGE. | SHAHAB ANSARI
Published : Nov 6, 2018, 1:51 am IST
Updated : Nov 6, 2018, 1:51 am IST

The Pune police had arrested Ferreira, Vernon and others in connection with the probe into their alleged links with Maoists.

Vernon Gonsalves  (Photo: PTI)
 Vernon Gonsalves (Photo: PTI)

Mumbai: A petition was filed in the Bombay high court on Monday seeking to transfer arrested activists Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves from police custody to judicial custody. According to the petitioner, the Supreme Court (SC) had directed that they be placed under house arrest till October 26, but the police arrested them on October 25, thus making the arrest illegal. Hence, it argued, the activists should be remanded to judicial custody.

Advocate Arif Siddiqui said, “Today we mentioned the petition before the vacation bench of Justice S.S. Shinde and the court is expected to hear the petition next Monday.” He also said that it is contended in the petition that as per the SC order, both Ferreira and Gonsalves were to be kept under house arrest for four weeks and the four weeks were completing on October 26. However, the police arrested them on October 25, which is a violation of the apex court’s order, which makes the arrest illegal and so the HC should issue direction to transfer them to judicial custody.

The Pune police had arrested Ferreira, Vernon and others in connection with the probe into their alleged links with Maoists. The police had claimed that they have seized emails exchanged between them and top Maoist leaders. The police had earlier arrested the activists in August. But the SC had placed them under house arrest for four weeks after it dismissed a petition for a probe by a special investigation team in the case filed by historian Romila Thapar. The court had also directed the accused to seek legal recourse in the appropriate lower courts.

However, the activists were arrested after a special court in Pune rejected their bail applications. The court had also refused to extend their house arrest.

Tags: arun ferreira, vernon gonsalves