Civil rights activist Gautam Navlakha
Civil rights activist Gautam Navlakha

The Bombay High Court on Friday issued a notice to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), seeking its response to a bail plea filed by activist Gautam Navlakha, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-alleged Maoist links case.

A bench of Justices S S Shinde and M S Karnik directed the NIA to file its reply by September 15.

The bench was hearing a plea filed by Navlakha, challenging a special court order of July 12 this year that rejected his plea for statutory bail.

Navlakha had sought statutory or default bail before the special court on the ground that he had been in custody for over 90 days, but the prosecution had failed to file a charge sheet in the case within this period.

The NIA, however, had argued that his plea was not maintainable.

It had also sought an extension for filing of chargehseet and the special court had at the time accepted the NIA's plea seeking extension of 90 to 180 days to file the charge sheet against Navlakha and his co-accused, activist Dr Anand Teltumbde.

Navlakha, lodged in Navi Mumbai's Taloja jail, had surrendered before the NIA on April 14 this year.

Between August 29 and October 1 in 2018, Navlakha had been kept under house arrest.

According to police, the activists had made inflammatory speeches and provocative statements at the Elgar Parishad meet held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which it said triggered violence the next day at Koregaon Bhima in the district. The police also alleged that they were active members of banned Maoist groups.

The case was later transferred to the NIA.

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