The Delhi High Court on Tuesday stayed the transit remand of activist Gautam Navlakha to Pune, ANI reported. Navlakha will remain under house arrest until the court hears his case on Wednesday. The activist will only be allowed to meet his lawyers, PTI reported.
The High Court was hearing a habeas corpus plea filed by his advocate after the Pune Police detained him earlier on Tuesday. The matter came up for hearing before a bench of Justice S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel, who said it would not be possible to hear the case beyond the court’s working hours, reported Bar and Bench.
Muralidhar said the court could not make out a case against Navlakha from the submitted documents. “It is not possible to make out a case from the documents placed before us,” he said.
The High Court said questioned how did the police manage to get a transit remand from a local court without any local witnesses, The Hindu reported. The bench said the police had not satisfactorily explained under what offence Navlakha was arrested.
Teams of the Pune Police raided the houses of several activists, including Navlakha’s in New Delhi, across the country on Tuesday. Among those whose houses were searched are Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in Mumbai, Sudha Bharadwaj in Faridabad and Stan Swamy in Ranchi.
Some of these activists have been detained by police. The raids are said to be connected to investigations into a public meeting organised days before caste-related violence erupted at Bhima Koregaon near Pune on January 1. Scroll.in has reviewed the search warrants which cite sections of the anti-terrorism law, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, and sections of the Indian Penal Code relating to the offence of promoting enmity between groups.
According to the Pune Police, the raids were based on names that emerged during the investigation of five activists that they had arrested in June in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence. In coordinated operations on June 6, the police had arrested lawyer Surendra Gadling, professor Shoma Sen and activist Mahesh Raut from Nagpur, Dalit rights activist Sudhir Dhawale from Mumbai and activist Rona Wilson from Delhi.