National

Charge of plot against PM baseless, says judge

Condemns press meet of police

The allegation raised by the Maharashtra police at press meets that the five arrested activists were plotting against Prime Minister Narendra Modi was baseless, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud observed on Friday.

So was the charge by the State government that it had materials suggesting that the activists were purchasing arms from outside the country.

This, Justice Chandrachud said, was far from the truth.

The judge condemned the use of the electronic media by the investigating arm of the State to influence public opinion during the pendency of an investigation.

In his opinion dissenting with the majority view of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar that the Maharashtra police should continue the investigation against the five arrested activists in the Bhima-Koregaon case, Justice Chandrachud accused the police of trying to “deflect” the course of the investigation by raising an allegation that there was a “plot against the Prime Minister.” This claim was made by the police in the course of press briefings.

However, the judge noted that the Additional Solicitor General who appeared in the Supreme Court of India had “fairly” stated that there was “no basis to link the five arrested individuals to any such alleged plot against the Prime Minister.”

Nor did the affidavit filed by the State government in the apex court raise any averment of a plot against the Prime Minister by the arrested activists.

“All this has certainly a bearing on the basic question as to whether the Maharashtra police can now be trusted to carry out an independent and impartial investigation. The police are not adjudicators nor do they pronounce upon guilt,” Justice Chandrachud wrote.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 9:46:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/charge-of-plot-against-pm-baseless-says-judge/article25075594.ece

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