The Bombay high court on Monday admitted the petition filed by former judge BG Kolse Patil and stayed criminal proceedings against him in connection with a protest against Jaitapur nuclear power plant in Ratnagiri district.
The division bench of justice BH Marlapalle and justice UD Salvi was hearing Kolse Patil's petition seeking quashing of the FIR registered against him for entering Ratnagiri district defying prohibitory orders. The proposed nuclear plant in coastal Maharashtra is being opposed by locals and activists.
After Kolse Patil moved the court, the government had informed the court in May that criminal prosecution was initiated against him (and another activist) as he “wilfully breached” prohibitory orders of the local magistrate.
He was also charged with instigating the protesters.
Kolse Patil’s counsel, senior advocate Shirish Gupte, argued that after the arrest, he was taken to the site of the agitation instead of the police station.
The bench then sought to watch the video recording of Kolse Patil’s arrest and the mob protesting against it. The court remarked that prima facie it did not seem that Kolse Patil instigated the mob to become violent and questioned the police's action of taking him to the protest site.
The final hearing will be held in due course.