Elgar Parishad-Maoist link case: SC considers 'house arrest' request of Gautam Navlakh

He is a 70-year-old man. We don't know how long he will live. Certainly, he is going towards the inevitable, said the court.

PTIUpdated: Wednesday, November 09, 2022, 04:37 PM IST
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Ample material against Gautam Navlakha in Elgar case charge sheet, offence very serious: Spl NIA court while refusing him bail | PTI

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it was considering allowing house arrest request of activist Gautam Navlakha incarcerated in connection with the Elgar Parishad-Maoist link case.

The top court asked Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, appearing for the National Investigation Agency (NIA), to seek instructions and inform it about restrictions that can be placed on Navlakha while keeping him under house arrest for few days.

A bench of justices K M Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy said it will pass the order Thursday after hearing the ASG.

It's not that he will be get a bail

"He is a 70-year-old man. We don't know how long he will live. Certainly, he is going towards the inevitable. It's not that we are going to release him on bail. He is not going to enjoy the default bail which comrade Sudha (Bharadwaj) got... We are conscious that we have to treat this carefully. We agree that house arrest as an alternative has to be used carefully...

"We are concerned about what restriction would you like to place. Place whatever restrictions. It's not that he is going to destroy the country... At least let him remain in house arrest for a few days. Let's try to work it out," the bench said.

There's no possibility of him being treated in jail

Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Navlakha, said the medical reports show that there's no possibility of him being treated in jail. "There's no way in the world you can get this kind of treatment/monitoring done in jail. He's had alarming weight loss. This kind of treatment is not possible in jail," Sibal said.

Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, appearing for the NIA, submitted that there is nothing wrong with Navlakha. "We will provide mattress and cot everything. We will allow him to bring home food also," he said.

Receiving medical treatment is a fundamental right of a prisoner

The top court on September 29 had directed the Taloja jail superintendent to immediately shift Navlakha to Mumbai's Jaslok hospital for treatment. It had said receiving medical treatment is a fundamental right of a prisoner.

The activist appealed to the apex court against the April 26 order of the Bombay High Court dismissing his plea for house arrest over apprehensions of lack of adequate medical and other basic facilities in Taloja jail near Mumbai where he is lodged.

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