The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its order on a plea seeking court-monitored SIT probe into the charge that the five right activists have links with banned outfit CPI (Maoist) and were allegedly involved in a conspiracy to kill sovereign leaders.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud reserved the order with senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi taking the court through the sequence of events demonstrating that entire case is cooked up.
Picking holes in the Maharashtra police investigation leading to the arrest of five activists — Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bhardwaj and Gautam Navlakha — Singhvi told the bench that when there is a real doubt about the credibility and sanctity of the probe, it should be entrusted to a Special Investigating Team.
Singhvi pointed out that there was no separate FIR on the alleged Maoist plot to kill high dignitaries like the Prime Minister or Rajiv Gandhi assassination-type plot. He said that the aim of the entire exercise was to "create a climate of real threat".
Appearing for the complainant, senior counsel Harish Salve said that the court has to decide where free speech ends and unlawful activities begin. "If unlawful activities are involved, the investigation must continue."
Dwelling on the dangers of seeking court-monitored SIT probe every time, Salve said "if they did not trust the CBI, NIA, who will they call? the FBI".
"There is a danger of embarking on the path of SIT probe. People are framed day in and day out. Four tiers of courts are there," Salve said pointing that all important cases end up in the top court.