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Photo: PTI
Photo: PTI

Bhima Koregaon Case: SC sends notice in NIA's plea against Delhi High Court

  • Delhi High Court is of the opinion that transfer of Gautam Navlakha, one of the accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence, from Delhi to Mumbai by the investigative agency was unseemly haste

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday issued notice in plea filed by National Investigation Agency (NIA) challenging Delhi High Court’s (HC) jurisdiction and opinion that transfer of Gautam Navlakha from Delhi to Mumbai by the investigative agency was “unseemly haste".

The apex court bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra and comprising Justice SA Nazeer and Indira Banerjee will hear the case next on 15 June.

According to the NIA, Navlakha is in judicial custody after a remand order was passed by the agency's session judge in Mumbai. Hence, Delhi HC does not have the territorial jurisdiction to entertain the bail plea of Navlakha.

The Delhi HC on 22 May had issued notice to NIA and directed the filing of the status report. On 26 May, Navlakha was shifted to Mumbai before the bail plea could be heard by Delhi HC. The Delhi HC directed NIA to file a report on the transfer of Navlakha to Mumbai along with his medical records. The jurisdiction to pass such an order by the HC is not challenged by the NIA.

In January 2018, the Pune police had registered an FIR against Navlakha and four others--Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Sudha Bharadwaj and Vernon Gonsalves--for their alleged involvement in the violence on the next day of Elgar Parishad held on 31 December, 2017, in Koregaon Bhima of Puna district.

Navlakha was booked under various provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, UAPA) and also under the Indian Penal Code's (IPC) Sections 121, 121(a) and 124. The IPC sections pertain to waging a war against the state, conspiring to commit certain offences against the state and sedition.

On 14 April, Navlakha had surrendered before the NIA and wrote an open letter stating his concerns over covid-19 risks to him.

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