Sunday, August 14, 2022

Elgar Parishad case: Bail pleas of four accused rejected in Maharashtra

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A local court in Mumbai has rejected the bail application of three members of a banned organisation, Kabir Kala Manch, apart from an Associate DU Professor, for their alleged involvement in violence during the Elgar Parishad conference of 2017.

Special NIA Judge D.E. Kothalikar on Monday rejected the bail applications of Jyoti Jagtap, Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor and Associate Professor at Delhi University Hany Babu.

They were arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in 2018.

The accused were charged with sedition under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code and terrorist activities under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for allegedly making inflammatory performances and speeches at the Elgar Parishad event that led to the riots at the Bhima Koregaon event.

The four accused filed their bail applications last year, seeking regular bail.

Jagtap stated that there had been a delay of 8 days in filing the FIR.
She argued that she had not been arrested by the Pune police, who were investigating the case before NIA took over, because her role was limited to the Elgar Parishad event.
She added that NIA had failed to bring out any new material recovered against her.

Gaichor and Gorkhe stated in their respective applications that there was no evidence with the NIA to show that the applicants were not cooperating with the investigation.

They had been in custody since 2020, a charge sheet had also been filed against them, and there was no reason to continue keeping them in custody in the present case, they contended.
Their counsel argued that the NIA had not shown so far how the speeches even spoke ill about India, or called for an armed rebellion, or any action against the Government of India.

Babu, meanwhile, contended that he had not been part of any organization, however, if that were true, he could be sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment and he had already been imprisoned for over a year.

NIA opposed the bail applications. It argued that to point out a new ground, further investigation ought to have been carried out. No such new ground had arisen so far, it was submitted.
It was also stated that from the evidence on record, there was enough material to prove the charges against the accused, and they did not deserve leniency.

After hearing the submissions in detail, the Special Court rejected their bail applications.

Before the bail orders were pronounced, a few developments took place in the NIA Court.

NIA informed the Court that the wanted accused, Milind Teltumbde had passed away in an encounter, which took place in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra last year.

The agency also sought production of another wanted accused, Prashant Bose, who is presently detained in Jharkhand. Bose was arraigned as wanted accused by Pune Police.

Gautam Navlakha, a co-accused in the case, had moved for regular bail application, which will be heard on March 1.

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