The Bombay High Court bench of Justices Sambhaji Shinde and Nijamoodin Jamadar on Wednesday reserved it's orders on a plea filed by eight accused in the Bhima-Koregaon violence case, seeking default bail.
Accused - Surendra Gadling, Varavara Rao, Sudhir Dhawale, Shoma Sen, Rona Wilson, Mahesh Raut, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira, have approached the bench challenging the order passed by the sessions court in Pune in September 2019, by which it took cognizance of the chargesheet filed by the NIA in the case.
The accused through advocate Sudeep Pasbola had argued that since the NIA had invoked charges of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) it ought to have approached a special court designated to hear cases under the NIA.
Pasbola had argued that the UAPA cases must be dealt with by special NIA court and not a session court. To buttress his case, he cited a recent judgment of the Nagpur bench wherein it is held that the cases under the UAPA law would be dealt with by special courts, irrespective of whether a central or a state agency is investigating the case.
Opposing the submissions, state advocate general Ashutosh Kumbhakoni pointed out that the accused have filed the present petition to challenge the orders taking cognizance of the chargesheet. "However, it should be noted that the chargesheet was filed within the stipulated time period," the AG pointed out.
Similarly, additional solicitor general (ASG) Anil Singh submitted that the judgment of the Nagpur bench won't be of any use to the accused as the facts of that case were much different than the one in the present proceedings.
"It is my submission, that the special courts have jurisdiction during the trial while the sessions court do have a jurisdiction prior to the trial," ASG submitted.
The judges, accordingly, reserved the matter for orders.
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