Civil rights activist Gautam Navlakha
Civil rights activist Gautam Navlakha
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Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday reserved its judgment on writ petition filed by human rights activist Gautam Navlakha seeking default bail. The activist, who is one among the dozen others, accused of instigating the Bhima-Koregaon violence, has sought bail on the ground that the investigating agency has failed to submit its chargesheet within the mandatory 90 days period.

A bench of Justices Sambhaji Shinde and Makarand Karnik was seized with a plea filed by Navlakha seeking default bail.

Senior counsel Kapil Sibal, appearing for Navlakha, told the judges that his client was first taken into custody in August 2018. "He was first kept in house arrest for over 30 days and then shifted to prison. So when we count the number of days spent in house arrest as well as jail the result is more than a 100 days," Sibal submitted.

"The NIA did not follow the procedure and failed to submit its chargesheet within the 90 days time period. In fact, even the application seeking additional time was filed after a period of 100 days," Sibal added.

The submissions were opposed by additional solicitor general (ASG) S V Raju, who argued that the time spent in house arrest couldn't be included in the overall custody period.

Having heard the contentions, the bench closed the matter for final judgment.

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Free Press Journal