Activist Sudha Bharadwaj's bail plea rejected by the Bombay High Court
Activist Sudha Bharadwaj's bail plea rejected by the Bombay High Court
Litigation News

Bombay High Court rejects bail plea filed by activist Sudha Bharadwaj claiming susceptibility to COVID-19

The activist, lodged in the Byculla Jail, had moved the Court seeking bail on medical grounds.

Lydia Suzanne Thomas

The Bombay High Court today rejected a bail application moved on behalf of lawyer and activist Sudha Bharadwaj, accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, reports Indian Express.

Bharadwaj had moved the Bombay High Court seeking bail on medical grounds. Her counsel had argued that her co-morbidities made her particularly susceptible to contracting the Coronavirus while in prison.

Her earlier plea for interim bail, opposed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), was rejected by a Special Court in Mumbai.

In its affidavit opposing the plea in the High Court, the NIA accused of Bharadwaj of taking "undue benefit" of the situation caused by the pandemic.

While rejecting the application, the Bench of Justices RD Dhanuka and VG Bisht asserted that the State would cover her medical expenses while she was lodged in prison.

Bharadwaj was arrested in 2018 for her alleged involvement in the Bhima Koregaon case and was initially lodged at the Yerwada Jail. Since then, she has remained incarcerated in the Byculla jail on charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. This year, the National Investigation Agency took charge of the investigation into the case.

Bharadwaj is one of several activists, academicians, and lawyers whose homes were raided for alleged ties to Maoists, apart from their involvement in the caste-based violence at Bhima Koregon. They have been charged with inciting violence during the 200th Anniversary of the Battle at Bhima Koregaon between the British East India Company and the Peshwas. Activists Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Anand Teltumbde, and Gautam Navlakha are among those booked for their supposed roles in the incident.

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