NIA challenged Bombay High court bail order regarding Bhima-Koregaon accused Sudha Bharadwaj

Share on:

The National Investigation Agency approached the Pinnacle Court against default bail granted to advocate Sudha Bharadwaj, who was arrested and has been in jail for over two years in the Bhima Koregaon case. The Bombay High Court had upheld Ms. Bhardwaj’s indefeasible right to personal liberty. It said the guarantee of personal liberty under Article 21 (right to life) of the Constitution cannot be thwarted on technical grounds that her plea for default bail was premature. That would be a “too technical and formalistic view of the matter”. In jail since 2018, Sudha Bharadwaj was granted default bail on Wednesday by the Bombay High Court, which said that a court that extended the investigation against her and prolonged her detention did not have the jurisdiction to do so. The bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar, which passed the order, however, directed a Mumbai special NIA court to take up the case on December 8 and decide on the conditions of her bail and date of release. Bharadwaj is the first among 16 activists and academicians arrested in the case to have been granted default bail. Rao is currently out on medical bail. One of the accused Jesuit priests, Stan Swamy, died in a private hospital on July 5 this year. The others are all in custody as undertrials.The National Investigation Agency, which is probing the case, had opposed both the pleas and argued that the NIA Act did not prohibit state police from carrying on a probe until such time that the NIA takes over. The Koregaon-Bhima case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at an Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the police claimed triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial located on Pune's outskirts. The Pune police had claimed the conclave was backed by Maoists. The probe in the case was later transferred to the NIA.