Saturday, December 2, 2023

Bhima Koregaon case: Plea for default bail to activist Varavara Rao rejected by Bombay High Court

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The plea filed by three accused Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves in the Bhima Koregaon was refused by the Bombay High court today. The plea was seeking review of the High Court’s judgement that refused them default bail in the case.

The Bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar opined that there were no factual error in the judgment as claimed by the accused.

The bench mentioned thatThe applications of bail were not placed before the court. Hence we cannot agree that there was factual error. No case of exercising jursidiction is made out. We clarify that observations in previous judgement are based on documents placed before us. The application stands rejected 

On December 1, 2021 about eight accused in the case were refused bail, a co-accused Sudha Bharadwaj however had been a granted bail.

The High Court clarified this difference in granting bail and said accused other than Bharadwaj, had not filed their pleas seeking default bail before the lower court within the time stipulated by law.

The pleas filed by accused through advocates Sudeep Pasbola and R Satyanarayanan, said that the HC’s order was based on a “factual error,” as it failed to note that the lower court had rejected the default bail pleas filed by Bharadwaj, the three petitioners, and two other co-accused persons through a common order.

The petitioners submitted in their plea that the review application arose on the account of a factual error in the judgment and if that error is not rectified, it will lead to gross miscarriage of justice”.

The lawyer for Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves argued that if the observations made by the accused are not considered they may impact their right to seek bail.

National Investigation Agency was represented by advocate Sandesh Patil who argued that the review petition is barred by law as the prayer sought alteration or review of the final judgment.

He also apprised the court that the final decision was taken by High Court after due verification of records and hearing.

The NIA lawyer also informed the court that the accused have bring another trick by bringing in a new case and blame the Court when their entire pleading in the application was defective and insufficient.

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