The Bombay High Court on Monday rejected a bail plea filed by civil rights activist Gautam Navlakha, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, Live Law reported.
Navlakha, who has been in prison since his surrender on April 14 last year, had filed a default bail plea in June on the grounds that the National Investigation Agency had failed to file their chargesheet within the stipulated period of 90 days. However, a special court rejected his plea, following which he approached the High Court to challenge the order, according to Live Law. In December, the High Court reserved its verdict on Navlakha’s petition seeking statutory bail.
On Monday, a bench of Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik said that there was “no reason to interfere with the order of the trial court”.
Appearing for Navlakha, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal had argued in December that the period he spent under house arrest must be considered as time spent in judicial custody.
Additional Solicitor General SV Raju, appearing for the NIA, had opposed the bail saying that the 34 days between August 29 and October 1, 2018, when Navlakha was under house arrest was declared illegal by the Delhi High Court and should not be included in the custody period, according to Live Law. Raju also argued that the date an accused was produced before the court was relevant, and not the date of arrest while deciding if he should be granted default bail or not.
Several activists have been accused of making inflammatory speeches at the Elgar Parishad conclave held at Shaniwar Wada in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the authorities claim triggered violence at Bhima-Koregaon war memorial the next day.
The Centre transferred the case to the NIA in January after the Bharatiya Janata Party government led by Devendra Fadnavis in Maharashtra was defeated. A coalition government of the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Congress came to power in the state in November 2019.