Gautam Navlakha and Delhi HC
Gautam Navlakha and Delhi HC
Litigation News

[COVID-19] Delhi HC issues notice in Gautam Navlakha's plea for interim bail plea in Bhima Koregaon case

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court today issued notice in Gautam Navlakha's interim bail plea in relation to the Bhima Koregaon case.

Notice to National Investigating Agency (NIA) was issued by a Single Judge Bench of justice Anup J Bhambhani, seeking its response.

Navlakha had surrendered before the NIA in April this year, after the Supreme Court refused to extend the interim protection from arrest granted to them.

In his interim bail plea, Navlakah has submitted that he is a 67 year old and is lodged in Central Jail No. 3, Tihar.

It is thus contended that in a crowded environment like that of a prison, Navlakha is vulnerable to COVID-19 infection.

The Court was informed that Navlakah is suffering from Colonic Polyposis, Chronic Gastritis and lactose intolerance. It is added that while he was in NIA custody, he was also diagnosed with high blood pressure, increasing the risk of his morbidity.

Navlakha has also asserted that in terms of the recommendations of the Maharashtra High Powered Committee, prisoners above the age of 60 years were allowed to apply for bail, irresepctive of the statutes under which they have been charged.

In August 2018, Navlakha was arrested by the Pune Police from his Delhi residence. The transit remand order was, however, set aside by the Delhi High Court.

Earlier this year, investigation in the case was transferred from Maharashtra Police to the NIA.

Citing requirements of custodial interrogation, a Pune Court had refused anticipatory bail to Navlakha last year. Thereafter, his anticipatory bail was rejected by the Bombay High Court in Februray.

Navlakha's plea seeking pre-arrest bail in the case was rejected by the Supreme Court in March, after it was satisfied with the existence of a prima facie case against the accused under UAPA.

Interim bail plea was filed through Advocates Warisha Farasat, Ashwath Sitaraman, Shruti Narayan.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for NIA.

The matter would be heard next on May 27.

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