Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Bhima Koregaon case: Gautam Navlakha released from Tajola Central Jail

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Gautam Navlakha, accused in Bhima Koregaon case of 2018, has been released from Taloja central prison. He will be staying in Navi Mumbai region for the next month in furtherance of the Supreme court order directing him to be placed in house arrest.

On Friday, the Supreme Court flayed the National Investigation Agency for not following its November 10 order, directing NIA to shift activist Gautam Navlakha from Taloja Prison, where he is currently lodged in connection with the Elgar Parishad Maoist links case, to the house specified by him within 24 hours.

The Bench of Justice K.M. Joseph and Justice Hrishikesh Roy, however, permitted NIA to put additional measures on the house where the 73-year-old will reside for the next one month, including sealing of the kitchen door leading to the exit point and locking of the grills of the hall. 

Noting that the activist has complied with the condition of installing CCTV cameras at both the exit points, the Apex Court observed that the issue related to shifting the DVRs of the CCTV cameras installed in the house, was for the NIA to decide.

The Apex Court orally warned Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for NIA during the hearing, stating that if the national agency was trying to find some loopholes and defy its order, then the court will take a ‘very serious’ view of the same.

It further rebuked Mehta, stating that If the entire police force was not able keep a watch on or put a 70-year-old ailing man in house confinement, then the national agency needs to think about its weaknesses.

The top court of the country further rejected the objection raised by NIA regarding the house where Navlakha would be kept under house arrest.

Stating that CPI was a recognised party of the country, the Bench said that it did not shock the court that the premises to house Navlakha belonged to the Communist Party of India.

Mehta then remarked that if this fact failed to shock the top court of the country, then he had nothing to say.

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