SC reserves verdict on bail plea of Navalakha

SC reserves verdict on bail plea of Navalakha

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday reserved its verdict on a plea of activist Gautam Navalakha seeking bail in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist link case of Bhima Koregaon lodged in Maharashtra. A bench of Justices U U Lalit and K M Joseph after hearing detailed arguments from senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for Navalakha and Additional Solicitor General S V Raju, appearing for NIA reserved the verdict. The top court had on March 3, sought response from NIA on the plea of Navalakha seeking default bail in the case, saying charge sheet was not filed within the stipulated time period.

According to police, some activists allegedly made inflammatory speeches and provocative statements at the Elgar Parishad meet in Pune on December 31, 2017, which triggered violence at Koregaon Bhima in the district the next day. The police have also alleged that the event was backed by some Maoist groups.

The high court had said that "it sees no reason to interfere with a special court's order which earlier rejected his bail plea". Navlakha had approached the high court last year, challenging the special NIA court's order of July 12, 2020 that rejected his plea for statutory bail. On December 16 last year, the High Court bench reserved its verdict on the plea filed by Navlakha, seeking statutory or default bail on the ground that he had been in custody for over 90 days, but the prosecution failed to file a charge sheet in the case within this period.

The NIA had argued that his plea was not maintainable, and sought an extension of time to file the charge sheet.

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