The Bombay High Court on Thursday quashed an order by the special court under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act rejecting bail to Bhima Koregaon accused Gautam Navlakha and directed the special judge to rehear the bail plea [Gautam Navlakha v. National Investigation Agency & Ors.]..A division bench of Justices AS Gadkari and PD Naik opined that the reasoning in the order of the special court was cryptic and did not contain analysis of the evidence relied upon by the prosecution.“No reason of whatever nature is given. Trial court has not given reasoning as required under section 43D(5) of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) while rejecting bail. It also appears that the order of SC in Zahoor Ahmad Shah Watali case has not been considered while rejecting bail application”, the Court said in the order. In view of this, the bench ruled that the bail application requires fresh hearing by the special court and remanded the case back to the court.It also directed the special judge to conclude the hearing within 4 weeks. .The bench was hearing an appeal filed by Navlakha challenging an order of September 5, 2022, rejecting his regular bail plea. During the hearing yesterday the High Court had opined that they do not have the benefit of a reasoned order.They asked the Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Anil Singh appearing for NIA to take instructions on whether the agency was willing to concede the bail plea. Alternatively, the Court said it would call for material which the special court had not considered. .Today, when the matter was called out, the ASG submitted that he was consenting for quashing of the order of September 5, and remanding the matter back to the special court for reconsideration.He also requested the Court not to express any opinion on merits of the matter.Advocate Yug Mohit Chaudhry, appearing for Navlakha, opposed the remanding of the matter to the special court, and requested that the High Court hear the appeal on merits. The bench, however, said that since it does not have the benefit of a reasoned order, it would be in consonance with judicial propriety to first let the lower court hear the matter properly. Chaudhry then requested the High Court to expedite the hearing before the special court. .Accordingly, the Court remanded the matter back to the trial court to be concluded within 4 weeks. “The special judge is requested to conclude within 4 weeks without being influenced from September 5 order and this order of today. It is made clear that this court has not made any opinion on merits,” the Court said. .Navlakha, who is human rights activist and former secretary of People's Union for Democratic Rights, was arrested in August 2018, but was initially placed under house arrest.He was later moved to Taloja Central Prison in Maharashtra in April 2020 after a Supreme Court order.However on November 10, the Supreme Court allowed his plea to be shifted back to house arrest for a month. This was extended by another month on December 13. He is presently residing in Navi Mumbai city of Thane district.Navlakha moved the High Court after a special NIA court rejected his bail plea on September 5 this year. NIA opposed Navlakha’s bail plea by claiming that he had been introduced to a Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) General for his recruitment, which shows his nexus with the organisation.