New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday extended the house arrest of five activists till 19 September in the Bhima-Koregaon case.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said it will examine whether or not there is material supporting the arrest of the five activists, Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha.

“Every criminal investigation is based on allegations and we have to see whether there is some material," said the bench, also comprising justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud. The bench added that if grave lapses were found, it would consider an investigation by a Special Investigating Team (SIT).

The apex court had on 12 September extended the house arrest of the activists till Monday.

Additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Maharashtra government, said the court should make it clear that after adjudication by it, the arrested accused cannot avail of remedies simultaneously on similar issues at other judicial fora. The top court had on 30 August observed that “dissent is the safety valve of democracy" and directed that the activists be kept under house arrest.

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