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Frantic Hurry Shown By NIA Moving Gautam Navlakha From Delhi To Mumbai: Delhi HC

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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed National Investigating Agency to put forward the record of the application moved by the NIA before the Special Judge (NIA),Delhi seeking an extension of the applicant’s judicial remand be requisitioned from the concerned court in a interim bail application filed by Gautam Navlakha in the Bhima Koregaon violence case.

A single-judge bench of Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani of Delhi High Court while conducting hearing through video conferencing observed that in view of the inexplicable, frantic hurry shown by the NIA in moving the applicant from Delhi to Mumbai while this matter was pending and the NIA had itself sought time to file a status report, this court does get a sense that all proceedings in this jurisdiction would be rendered utterly infructuous if an element of urgency is not brought to bear on the present proceedings.”

The interim bail application filed by Gautam Navlakha sought interim bail on the ground of him being at a higher risk of being affected by the COVID-19 in jail. The interim bail has been sought in the case in which an FIR has been registered against Navlakha by Pune police, in which he is alleged to be involved in inciting violence at Bhima-Koregaon, be quashed.

Ms. Nitya Ramakrishna, Counsel appearing for the Petitioner stated that while the present proceedings are pending, a hearing for extension of the applicant’s judicial remand was conducted on 23.05.2020 before the Special Judge (NIA), Delhi, and at the NIA’s request, the applicant’s judicial remand was extended upto 22.06.2020.

Ms. Ramakrishna further added that on 24.05.2020, although a Sunday, an application was moved by the NIA before the Special Judge (NIA), Mumbai seeking production warrants for the applicant before that court; which was allowed and warrants were issued for the production of the applicant before the Special Judge (NIA), Mumbai on 26.05.2020 at 11 am.

“An application was moved by the concerned Jail Superintendent, Tihar Jail, Delhi on 25.05.2020, being a Gazetted holiday on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, seeking a transfer/transit order to transfer the applicant from Delhi to Mumbai. It appears that by an order given on e-mail, the Special Judge (NIA), Delhi allowed this request; whereupon the applicant was put on a train on 26.05.2020 and taken away to Mumbai”, Ms. Ramakrishna submitted

Ms. Ramakrishna, Counsel appearing for the Petitioner submitted before the court that while seeking a warrant for Mr. Navlakha before Special Judge (NIA), Mumbai, the applicant verily believes that in none of the proceedings before the Special Judge (NIA), Mumbai or the Special Judge (NIA), Delhi did the NIA disclose the pendency of the present bail application.

On the step taken by NIA moving Mr. Navlakha from Delhito Mumbai, the Court observed that “the NIA has acted in unseemly haste to instead remove the applicant out of the very jurisdiction of this court.”

-India Legal Bureau

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