The Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside the Bombay High Court order that refused to extend the 90-day time limit to the Maharashtra police for filing the chargesheet against five human rights activists in the Bhima Koregaon violence case.
Accordingly, the activists will not be eligible for default bail and will have to apply for regular bail.
Lawyer Surendra Gadling and activists Shoma Sen, Rona Wilson, Sudhir Dhawale and Mahesh Raut have been in custody since June 2018 on allegations of having suspected links to Maoists.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi allowed the Maharashtra government’s appeal against the Bombay High Court's refusal to extend the 90-day limit for filing the chargesheet in the Bhima-Koregaon violence case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA).
The provisions of the UAPA require the police to file its final report in court within 90 days, failing which the accused are entitled to bail. The police had approached the apex court asking for more time, which the law allows, provided the prosecuting agency furnishes a satisfactory report about the investigation.