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Bombay High Court rejects regular bail application of Jyoti Jagtap in Bhima Koregaon case

The Bombay High Court has rejected the regular bail  application of one of the youngest accused Jyoti Jagtap, in the Bhima Koregaon case of 2018.

Jagtap, was allegedly part of the banned performance group named Kabir Kala Manch (KKM), which approached the High Court in appeal after a Special Court under the National Investigation Act (NIA) had rejected her bail application on February 14 this year

The High court bench of Justice AS Gadkari and Justice Milind Jadhav, have today, rejected the appeal for the same.

The bench observed that the NIA case was prima facie true and considering the material against Jagtap, the appeal challenging rejection of bail by Special Court stood dismissed.

Jagtap was part of the banned organization and was accused under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The cultural group supposedly took up social causes through their music and poetry had been formed after the Gujarat riots of 2002.

Jagtap was arrested on September 8, 2020 by the National Investigation Agency (NIA whereas she was chargesheeted on October 9, 2020.

The hearing of her bail plea began on September 13 and after hearing the appeal for seven dates reserved the appeal for orders on October 4.

Jagtap was represented by Senior Advocate Mihir Desai who apprised the court that she was innocent and falsely implicated in the case and so the NIA had  failed to establish any prima facie case against her in the present case

He added that there had been a delay of 8 days in filing the First Information Report (FIR) and that despite being an accused in the FIR, she had not been arrested for over 2 years. He further added that the Pune Police, which was initially investigating the case, did not file a single chargesheet against her as she had limited role of in Elgar Parishad event.

The advocate also apprised the court that NIA had failed to bring out any new material recovered against her which led to her arrest. He also added that NIA failed to bring anything on record to suggest that Jagtap was a member of Kabir Kala Manch or banned terrorist organization;

The advocate also said that being a member of any organization was no offence,along with he also said that there was a difference between the NIA and the Pune Police’s versions of the facts that led to the filing of the FIR

Explaining the same, the advocate said that according to the Pune Police, it was Sudhir Dhawale with KKM members that organised the event; however the NIA has contended that KKM members like Ramesh Gaichor, Sagar Gorkhe and Jagtap were organisers;

Before putting end to his points he added that the trial will take a very long time to complete as the case is still at the stage of framing of charge and a large number of witnesses have to be examined and also that there is no legally admissible evidence against Jagtp and trial is likely to result in an acquittal.

However the Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh for NIA opposed the bail arguing that Jagtap met with wanted-accused Milind Teltumbde in Korchi, along with under going a training related to use of weapons, explosives and physical activities

He also further added that Jagtap had attended meetings with the Elgar Parishad’s organisers who were allegedly trying to gather a huge public mob of Dalits and other organisations against the government to create hatred against it.

ASG also added that during investigation it was established that Jagtap is one of the main conspirators and active members of KKM;

Not only this, the NIA alleged that Jagtap and others were members of the CPI (Maoist) and were furthering activities of CPI (Maoist) in urban areas on directions of Teltumbde.

Another allegation against Jagtap is that along with other members of KKM, she delivered hatred through street plays and skits on stage.The accused participated in preparatory meetings making efforts to gather a huge mob of Dalits and other organisations against the government.

Before ending his argument , the ASG added an important point which is that she was responsible for maintaining account of funds in order to facilitate the Elgar Parishad event.

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