A special National Investigation Agency court on Tuesday rejected petitions of five accused persons in the Bhima Koregaon case seeking default bail, The Hindu reported.
The case pertains to caste violence that took place a day after an Elgar Parishad conclave in a village near Pune on January 1, 2018. Sixteen persons were arrested for allegedly plotting the violence.
The judge, Rajesh Kataria, turned down the bail petitions of accused persons Shoma Sen, Surendra Gadling, Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson and Mahesh Raut on Tuesday.
They had sought bail on the grounds that the National Investigation Agency had not filed a chargesheet against them within the stipulated time, according to the Hindustan Times. They also argued that a sessions court in Pune that extended the time limit to file the chargesheet lacked the authority to do so.
The Pune Police had claimed that those arrested were conspiring with members of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) to overthrow the Narendra Modi government.
On December 1, the Bombay High Court had allowed the default bail petition of Sudha Bharadwaj, one of the accused persons in the case. However, the court had rejected bail plea of eight others.
Bharadwaj had filed the application before the filing of the chargesheet and when she had completed 90 days in jail. However, the court had said that the others had filed applications after the filing of the chargesheet, due to which they were not entitled to bail, according to The Leaflet.
The first chargesheet in the case was filed by the Pune Police in November 2018, which ran into over 5,000 pages. It named Dhawale, Wilson, Gadling, Sen, and Raut, all of whom were arrested in June 2018.
One of the accused, 84-year-old tribal rights activist Stan Swamy, died in custody in July. Swamy, who suffered from Parkinson’s disease and also contracted the coronavirus infection while in prison, was repeatedly denied bail despite his deteriorating health condition.
A supplementary chargesheet was filed later in February 2019, against Bharadwaj, poet Varavara Rao, activists Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves and banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) leader Ganapathy. The accused were charged with “waging war against the nation” and spreading the ideology of the CPI (Maoist), besides creating caste conflicts and hatred in the society.
The Centre transferred the case to the National Investigation Agency in January 2020 after the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Maharashtra, led by Devendra Fadnavis, was defeated.