Justice Ravindra Bhat on Thursday recused from hearing the petition filed by Gautam Navlakha challenging the September 13 judgment of Bombay High Court that refused to quash the FIR registered against him by Pune police alleging his involvement in inciting the violence at Koregaon Bhima in Pune on January 1, 2018.
The matter was listed before the bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Ravindra Bhat on Thursday. The case will come before another bench tomorrow.
It is ironical to note Justice Bhat is the fifth judge to recuse from the case in three days. Justices N.V. Ramana, R.Subhash Reddy and B.R. Gavai had recused from hearing the petition on Tuesday.
Before that, Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had recused from hearing the plea on Monday, without stating any reasons.
In Bombay High Court, the division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Bharati Dangre observed that there was prima facie material against the 65-year-old activist referring to the document submitted in a sealed envelope by Additional Public Prosecutor Aruna Pai.
The police claimed that they have material showing ‘deep involvement’ of Navlakha in Maoist conspiracy
bhima koregaon war memorial 1

The Battle of Koregaon was fought on 1 January 1818 between the British East India Company and the Peshwa faction of the Maratha Confederacy, at Koregaon Bhima.The battle was part of the Third Anglo Maratha war, a series of battles that culminated in the defeat of the Maratha empire (under the Upper caste Peshwas ) and subsequent rule of the British East India Company in nearly all of Western, Central and Southern India. There is a “victory pillar” (obelisk) in Koregaon commemorating the battle. The Koregaon pillar inscription features the names of the 49 Company soldiers killed in the battle.[26] 22 of these names end with the suffix -nac (or -nak), which was used exclusively by the people of Mahar caste.

On January 1, like every year, lakhs of Dalits poured into Bhima Koregaon. The commemoration has a record of being conducted peacefully and the village’s residents have a history of social harmony.
But during 2018 tensions had begun to build in a neighbouring village over the question of which community had conducted the last rites of Maratha ruler Sambhaji the Mahars or the Marathas.
The panchayat of Bhima Koregaon issued a notice asking residents to boycott the event by calling for all shops to remain shut that day.
Responding to this Dalit rights groups staged road blocks and protest demonstrations across Maharashtra.
In several parts of Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and Ahmednagar, stone pelting was reported.
A 16-year-old Dalit boy, Yogesh Prahlad Jadhav, was killed during the protest, allegedly due to injuries sustained by police caning.
On 2 January 2018 FIR was filed against ‘Sambhaji’ Bhide and Milind Ekbote for instigating violence on Dalits.
During February 2018  The Supreme Court criticised the State government and probe agencies for the slow progress in their probe against Milind Ekbote, questioning the agencies’ claims that he was allegedly ‘untraceable’. Chief minister, Devendra
Fadnavis said in the state assembly that the police had raided all hotels and lodges in Pune and Kolhapur in search of Ekbote, conducted combing operations, detained his followers and examined more than 100 call records but failed to locate him.
On 14 March 2018 – The District Rural Police of Pune arrested Milind Ekbote. The Supreme Court cancelled his interim bail plea after he did not cooperate with the probe agencies, refusing to hand over his mobile phone and despite five summons for interrogation.
In this scenario that is during March 2018 – An RSS-backed think tank called Forum for Integrated National Security (FINS), mainly consisting of retired army officers, released a report on the Bhima Koregaon riots.
The RSS think tank report absolved the Hindu leaders Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide from direct involvement. Instead, it blamed the Maoists (ultra left-wing organisations) for instigating the Dalit activists. It also blamed the Maharashtra Police for “apathy” and overlooking evidence.
After RSS intervention on 22 April 2018 the case took twist and two important things happened
The first one is A nineteen year old Dalit witness, Puja Sakat, whose house was burnt in the violence, was found dead in a well.
Her family alleged that she was under intense pressure to withdraw her statement. Her brother, Jaideep, also a witness, had been arrested by Pune Rural Police on charges of attempt to murder.
The second part is on 8 June 2018 Pune Police arrested Surendra Gadling, Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Shoma Sen and Mahesh Raut with alleged Maoist links for inciting riots.
On 28 August 2018 BJP led Maharastra government Pune police carried out searches of nine rights activists, and arrested five of them.
Those arrested include alleged leftwing ideologue Varavara Rao, lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj, and activists Arun Ferreira, Gautam Navlakha and Vernon Gonsalves.
The Supreme Court ordered them to be place under “house arrest”. Again on 12 September 2018 The Supreme Court extends the “house arrest” until 17 September 2018.
Again 28 September 2018 The Supreme Court extends the house arrest by another four weeks, but declined the appointment of a special investigation team.
In the above scenario the recuse of 5 judges taking place that resulted in delaying go trail ..