The Supreme Court on Tuesday waived off the requirement of a solvency certificate as a condition to allow activist Gautam Navlakha being shifted from jail to house arrest, Live Law reported.
Navlakha, 70, has been accused of involvement in the Bhima Koregaon case, which pertains to caste violence in a village near Pune in 2018. He was among 16 people arrested for allegedly plotting the violence.
On November 10, the Supreme Court had allowed Navlakha to be placed under house arrest for a month. This was after the activist had filed a plea seeking to be shifted from jail on grounds of ill health and poor facilities in prison.
A bench headed by Justice KM Joseph, however, had court also imposed several conditions including procurement of a surety of Rs 2 lakh by November 14, as a proof of solvency. Navlakha could not be shifted from his jail as he could not produce the document.
On Tuesday, Advocates Nitya Ramakrishnan and Shadan Farasat, appearing on behalf of Navlakha, told the Supreme Court that it will take a minimum of six weeks to secure a solvency certificate. The court then decided to waive off the condition.
“Considering the submission and the circumstances, we deem it appropriate to waive the requirement of a solvency certificate for the petitioner [Navlakha] to avail the benefit of our order dated November 10, 2022,” the court said in its order, according to Live Law.
The court also removed the condition of producing Navlakha’s ration card as additional proof of identity. The judges noted that Navlakha has already provided adequate security proof in the form of a passport, Aadhaar card and PAN card.
Navlakha had filed his petition demanding house arrest after his co-accused tribal rights activist Stan Swamy died during his time in custody in July last year.
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. He was 84.
Before Swamy’s death, the National Investigation Agency had initially refused to give him a straw and sipper which he needed to drink water as he suffered from Parkinson’s disease. The items were allowed only after outrage on social media.