Supreme Court today reserved order on the applications filed by activists Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde seeking for extension of time to surrender in the case registered under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) alleging Maoist links in connection with Bhima Koregaon violence.
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra & Indira Banerjee heard the applications by the activists seeking interim protection from arrest on the ground of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Counsel on behalf of the petitioner activists stated that both of them were over 65 years old and suffered from heart ailments, and also stated that going to prison during this time of coronavirus outbreak is virtually a death sentence.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta opposed the plea contending that the activists are facing serious charges, and the plea was only a means to buy more time.
On March 16, a division bench of Supreme Court comprising of Justice Arun Mishra and Justice MR Shah, had dismissed SLP’s filed by the activists challenging the judgements of the Bombay High Court which had denied them pre- arrest bail. The bail was denied on the ground that a prima facie case was made against them based on the evidence and materials on record. The deadline for surrender as fixed by the Supreme Court was 17th March. The High Court had however extended the interim protection which the accused enjoyed during the pendency of their applications for 4 more weeks.
The case is concerned with the violent incidents that occurred ok January 1, 2018 at Bhima Koregaon near Pune during the commemoration of 200th anniversary of Victory of Koregaon Battle.
-India Legal Bureau