Supreme Court asks Chhattisgarh government not to arrest Nandini Sundar
The Supreme Court has recorded on Tuesday an undertaking by the Chhattisgarh government that it would not be arresting the Delhi University professor and activist Nandini Sundar and also others in an FIR lodged against them. Notably, it was in the connection with the killing of a tribal man allegedly by Maoists, and that it would give them advanced notice of four weeks before further proceeding in the case.
“Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta says that Nandini Sundar, Vineet Tiwari, Archana Prasad and others will not be arrested or further interrogated.
The state government has also directed to give four weeks advance notice before the proceeding in this case. Liberty to petitioners to further approach court after the notice is served,” said a bench led by Justice Madan B Lokur.
The bench, however, refused to entertain Sundar’s plea that the state should first take permission from the court before arresting or interrogating her and other activists in the case.
“No, they cannot be stopped perpetually. If there is a crime, they need to proceed. It is their statutory right. They will first give you the notice and then they can proceed,” said the court, adding that the activist can approach the court after the notice is served.
Charges of Murder
DU Prof Nandini Sundar, JNU Prof Archana Prasad and others on November 7, were booked on the charges of murder of a tribal villager in the insurgency-hit Sukma district of Chhattisgarh.
Senior advocate Ashok Desai, who is appearing for Sundar and other activists, produced some newspaper clippings and has said that IG Bastar Range S R P Kalluri had recently made a statement that Sundar and others would not be able to further enter Bastar and that people would pelt them with stones. He said this should not be allowed.
Mehta had countered the argument by claiming that whenever there is a hearing on the matter, there are news reports and if any case court wants to take them on record; it should also have a look at the records that the state government wanted to submit.
The bench, however, disposed of the application filed by Sundar and said if any notice is issued; they have the liberty to approach the court.