Elgar Parishad case: HC issues notice to NIA on bail plea of Gautam Navlakha

The Bombay High Court on Monday issued notice to National Investigation Agency (NIA) on a plea filed by activist Gautam Navlakha, an accused in Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case, seeking regular bail.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Tuesday, December 13, 2022, 12:59 AM IST
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Gautam Navlakha | PTI

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday issued notice to National Investigation Agency (NIA) on a plea filed by activist Gautam Navlakha, an accused in Elgar Parishad-Bhima Koregaon case, seeking regular bail.

Navlakha, who is at present under house arrest, approached the HC after the special court rejected his bail plea.

Navlakha was placed under house arrest after the special court on November 19 issued a release memo or order for shifting the rights activist into house arrest. A day prior to that, the NIA had raised objections on safety aspects of Navlakha at the house arrest premises. Striking down the objections, the Supreme court had directed that he be shifted within 24 hours.

Seeking bail, Navlakha has claimed in his plea, that he is a peace activist and his views, as have been evident from his articles written before his arrest, show he is against violence, espoused by Maoists. He said he has been critical of Maoists in his writings and that charges pressed against him under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) do not attract.

The special court has rejected the 69-year-old activist’s bail plea on merit stating that it is specifically alleged that Navlakha has a nexus in the crime.

Special judge Rajesh J Katariya further observed that it is contended that during the course of the probe, he was found in possession of incriminating documents related to the Communist Party of India (Maoist). Mentioning the allegations against Navlakha by the NIA, it stated further that it is alleged that Navlakha delivered speeches on many issues relating to the Kashmir separatist movement and Maoists and that he supported it.

Last month, the HC had granted bail to Anand Teltumbde on merits, observing prima facie “it cannot be concluded that Teltumbde has indulged in a terrorist act,” in the Bhima Koregaon – Elgaar Parishad case.

Earlier, lawyer activist Sudha Bhardwaj was granted default bail by HC last year. Telugu poet, was granted medical bail by HC way last year.

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