This article is written by – Himanshu Shukla, Student (IP University, Delhi)
A special court under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act has refused to grant temporary bail to BhimaKoregaon accused GautamNavlakha.
The accused had asked for temporary bail based on the guidelines issued by the High Power Committee to decongest the jails considering the COVID pandemic situation.
Advocate Chandni Chawla, representing Navlakha, initially said that the application was filed from jail and she did not want to give detailed arguments. She submitted the argument and said that these are COVID times and the accused is a senior citizen.
Opposing the application, Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) Prakash Shetty argued that the application was filed on “fictitious grounds” and also did not contain any medical certificate.
The SPP further said that the impact of COVID has reduced significantly, and demands that such bail applications can’t be considered on such delayed grounds
The Special NIA Judge DE Kothalikar after briefly hearing both parties dismissed the application by BhimaKoregaon accused.
The court also rejected the interim medical bail plea of co-accused Dr.AnandTeltumbde in the case as the application had become infructuous. The special judge said that since the main bail plea was rejected by the court, the interim application could not be entertained.
It was also brought to the notice of the Court that an appeal challenging the order of cancellation of bail had been filed in the Bombay High Court and was pending hearing.
As stated in the earlier hearing, the court will dispose of all pending interim applications before proceeding for framing of charges.
The special judge denoted that there are more than seven pending applications in the case along with the applications filed before the Pune sessions court in January 2020 before the case was transferred to the NIA court.
The pending application included a report by the superintendent of Taloja jail containing complaints against three accused of misbehavior in the jail. Now he will be presented in the court on the next date 6 September 2021.
Advocate Barun Kumar, appearing for one of the accused, sought time to respond to the report.
The NIA judge had also directed the production warrants for the other 3 accused in the case, SurendraGadling, Vernon Gonsalves, and Arun Ferreira, to appear in court. But he could not be produced as the police did not have an escort.