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Sudha Bhardwaj bail: NIA seeks urgent listing of plea challenging activist’s bail

The Bombay High Court had granted bail to Bhima Koregaon accused Sudha Bhardwaj, who has been in jail since 2018, on December 1 and also asked her to approach the NIA court by December 8 to finalise modalities about her release and bail conditions.

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The National Investigation Agency on Monday sought the urgent listing of its appeal in the Supreme Court against default bail granted to lawyer Sudha Bhardwaj in the Bhima Koregaon case. The agency had moved court on December 3, two days after the Bombay High Court granted her default bail.

Appearing on behalf of the NIA, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said since the Bombay High Court order would come into effect on December 8, the agency’s challenge to the order should be heard as soon as possible before it becomes pointless.

The Bombay High Court had granted bail to Bhima Koregaon accused Sudha Bhardwaj, who has been in jail since 2018, on December 1 and also asked her to approach the NIA court by December 8 to finalise modalities about her release and bail conditions.

The High Court had refused default bail to the other 8 accused saying that they had not applied for default bail when that right had accrued to them.The Bombay High Court’s Justices S.S. Shinde and N.J. Jamadar had directed the production of Bhardwaj before the NIA trial court for the court to process the modalities and terms required to be followed on December 8.

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Lawyer-activist Sudha Bhardwaj was arrested from Faridabad in August 2018 by the Maharashtra Police in the Bhima Koregaon case. Father Stan Swamy, another civil society activist, who had been arrested in the case along with Bhardwaj died in July this year while his bail petition was being heard by the High Court.

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