Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Tuesday asked human rights lawyer Surendra Gadling, accused in Elgar Parishad case to add National Investigation Agency (NIA) as respondent in his plea seeking bail.
Justice PD Naik asked Gadling to add NIA also as respondent as it was the investigating agency now. Also, the bail plea will be placed before a division bench of the HC as all matters concerning Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) have to be decided by a division bench.
Gadling had approached HC challenging order of Pune session court rejecting his bail in November 2019. At the time, the case was still being investigated by Pune police.
On November 6, 2019, the Pune sessions court had rejected bail application of six accused in the Elgar Parishad case – Gadling, Shoma Sen, Rona Wilson, Mahesh Raut, Varvara Rao and Sudhir Dhavale.
Gadling’s advocate Arote said that the appeal was filed in HC in 2020 when the case was still being investigated by Pune police. Hence, NIA was not added as respondent.
The NIA took over the probe in July 2021.
According to Gadling, he was not present at the Conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, , which, the police claimed, triggered violence the next day near the Bhima-Koregaon war memorial located on the outskirts of the western Maharashtra city. The police had claimed the conclave was organised by people with alleged Maoist links.
On January 1, 2018, the violence at Bhima Koregaon village left one dead and injured several others, including 10 policemen. Violence erupted after some people, reportedly with saffron flags, pelted stones at cars heading towards the village for the commemoration of the 200 years of Bhima-Koregaon war on New Year's Day.
HC has asked Arote to amend the petition in two weeks and it will be placed before a division bench.
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