Tripura UAPA Charges | Day 3: Petitioners withdraw case from the Supreme Court, seek permission to approach the High Court

UAPA Charges Related to Tripura Violence

Judges: B.M. Trivedi J, Pankaj Mithal J

In a brief hearing today, Advocate Prashant Bhushan, counsel for two advocates and a journalist who were charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA) following the 2021 Tripura violence, sought to withdraw the case.

Yesterday, the counsel for Tripura contended that the petitioners had to approach the High Court before moving the Supreme Court. Bhushan had asked for time to consult his clients. 

Court grants permission to approach the Tripura High Court

Bushan first informed the Bench that the petitioners would like to withdraw the case from the Supreme Court and approach the High Court. Back in 2021, right after the Tripura violence broke out, the political and social situation in Tripura was concerning, which discouraged the petitioners from approaching the High Court. Now, however, the petitioners seemed more confident that they would get a fair and safe hearing. 

The Bench granted him permission to do so. “It is needless to say that the petitioners shall be at liberty to file appropriate proceedings before the appropriate forum as permissible under the law,” Justice Bela Trivedi said, as she dictated the Order. 

Petitioners raise concerns of arrest

In November 2021, a Bench comprising former Chief Justice N.V. Ramana with Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and Surya Kant had ordered the Tripura police to not take any coercive action against the petitioners. 

Today, as the hearings started, the Bench remarked that they would not entertain any interim orders. However, Bhushan pleaded for that protection to be extended. “They may try to arrest us,” he said. 

Justice Trivedi replied that they were not passing any Order to that effect. However, she immediately addressed Additional Solicitor General S.V. Raju for Tripura and said, “at least for two weeks, don’t do anything.”

With this, the case which has been pending before the Court since 2021 came to a close.