Bhima Koregaon: Gautam Navlakha moves Bombay High Court for pre-arrest bail
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Bhima Koregaon: Gautam Navlakha moves Bombay High Court for pre-arrest bail

Omkar Gokhale

Gautam Navlakha has today moved the Bombay High Court for pre-arrest bail, just one day after the Pune Sessions Court rejected his plea for anticipatory bail.

The Sessions Court in Pune had yesterday refused to grant anticipatory bail to activist Gautam Navlakha, accused in Bhima Koregaon case. The Court had also rejected Navlakha’s application seeking a three-day extension from arrest.

Rejecting the anticipatory bail, the Court had said that there is prima facie enough material to show Navlakha is not only a member of a banned organization (Communist Party of India- Maoist) but ‘an active leader’ as well.

The Court observed,

“It is clear that there is prima facie sufficient material to show that the applicant is not only a member of a banned organization but an active leader. Prima facie it can be noted that the organisation of Elgar Parishad at Pune was part of a larger conspiracy of the banned organization and Bhima Koregaon episode is one of the instances of execution of the said conspiracy. Therefore, the question of jurisdiction either of Pune Police or of this Court cannot be said to have merits, at least at this stage.”

The Additional Sessions Judge at Pune, SR Navandar on November 7 had reserved its order in the plea for pre-arrest bail filed by activist Gautam Navlakha after hearing the arguments advanced by both Navlakha and the Pune Police.

Navlakha had moved the Pune Court on November 5, one day after the Bombay High Court directed him to approach the Special Court for this relief. Earlier, in a plea filed by Navlakha seeking quashing of the FIR against him in the case, the Supreme Court had granted him liberty to approach the appropriate forum seeking pre-arrest bail while refusing to decline the plea for quashing. That order of the Supreme court ultimately led to the filing of this application.

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