Wednesday, September 27, 2023

SC extended interim protection from arrest to both Navlakha & Teltumbde for a week: Bhima Koregaon Case

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Supreme Court today extended interim protection from arrest to both Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde for a week and clarified that no further extension would be granted.

Earlier today, Court has reserved its order on a plea by activists Navlakha and Telumbde 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 said, “however, since the petitioners have enjoyed the protection for long, by way of last opportunity, we extend the time granted to surrender for one week.”

The Court also said that present relief extended to the petitioners cannot be a precedent for other cases.

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

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