Supreme Court grants bail to Bhima Koregaon violence case accused Gautam Navlakha : The Tribune India

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Supreme Court grants bail to Bhima Koregaon violence case accused Gautam Navlakha

The Bench took note of the fact that Navlakha has been in jail for more than four years and charges were yet to be framed in the case

Supreme Court grants bail to Bhima Koregaon violence case accused Gautam Navlakha

Gautam Navlakha. File photo



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, May 14

Having spent over four years in judicial custody, Bhima Koregaon violence case accused Gautam Navlakha will be out on bail as the Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to extend the stay on the Bombay High Court’s order granting him bail.

“We are inclined not to extend the stay as the high court order is detailed in granting bail. Trial would take years and years and years for completion. Without going at length into contentions, we will not extend the stay,” a Bench of Justice MM Sundresh and Justice SVN Bhatti said.

The Bench took note of the fact that Navlakha has been in jail for more than four years and charges were yet to be framed in the case.

It also ordered Navlakha to shell out Rs 20 lakh towards his house arrest expenses at the earliest.

The Bombay High Court had on December 19 last year granted bail to Navlakha but stayed its order for three weeks to enable the NIA to file an appeal against it in the Supreme Court. The stay had been extended since then by the top court.

While granting bail to Navlakha, the high court had said there was no material to infer that the accused committed a terrorist act as contemplated under Section 15 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

Arrested in April 2020 by the NIA, Navlakha (71) was allowed by the Supreme Court to be placed under house arrest in Navi Mumbai on November 10, 2022 on account of his advanced age.

The case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches made at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the police claimed triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial on the outskirts of the western Maharashtra city.

The Pune Police had claimed that the conclave was organised by people with alleged Maoist links.

Later, the NIA took over the probe. Several activists and academicians were arrested in the case, including Sudhir Dhawale, Shoma Sen, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira and Navlakha. Five of the accused were already on bail.

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