HC to decide if Gautam Navalakha 
could be released on default bail

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday reserved its judgment on a writ petition filed by human rights activist Gautam Navalakha seeking default bail. The activist, who is one of the dozen of others, accused of instigating the Bhima-Koregaon violence, has sought bail on the ground that the investigating agency has failed to submit its chargesheet within the mandatory 90 days period.

A bench of Justices Sambhaji Shinde and Makarand Karnik was seized with a plea filed by Navalakha seeking default bail.

Senior counsel Kapil Sibal, for Navalakha, told the judges that his client was first taken into custody in August 2018. "He was first kept in house arrest for over 30 days and then shifted to prison. So when we count the number of days spent in house arrest as well as jail the result is more than 100 days," Sibal submitted.

"The NIA did not follow the procedure and failed to submit its chargesheet within the 90 days time period. In fact, even the application seeking additional time was filed after a period of 100 days," Sibal added.

The submissions were opposed by an additional solicitor general (ASG) S V Raju, who argued that the time spent in house arrest couldn't be included in the overall custody period.

Having heard the contentions, the bench closed the matter for final judgment.

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