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SC rejects bail plea of Gautam Navlakha in Bhima-Koregaon case

SC rejects bail plea of Gautam Navlakha in Bhima-Koregaon case

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to grant bail to activist Gautam Navlakha, who has been accused of links with Maoist groups over the violence in Bhima-Koregaon.

A bench of Justices U.U. Lalit and K.M. Joseph had reserved its verdict over the plea from Navlakha on March 26 after hearing detailed arguments. Navlakha had moved the Supreme Court after the Bombay High Court rejected his bail plea on February 8 this year.

The bench of Justices Lalit and Joseph noted there was "no statutory bail" in the case. Navlakha was arrested in the Bhima-Koregaon case in August 2018.An NIA court had rejected a bail plea from him in July 2020.

Navlakha is currently lodged in the Taloja Central jail. He had sought statutory bail on the grounds that the NIA did not file a charge-sheet within the 90-day stipulated time period, which would make him eligible for 'default bail'.

The FIR against him was re-registered in January 2020, and Navlakha surrendered before the NIA on April 14 last year. He had spent 11 days in the NIA's custody till April 25, and since then he is in judicial custody in the Taloja jail.

According to police, some activists allegedly made inflammatory speeches and provocative statements at the Elgar Parishad meet in Pune on December 31, 2017, which triggered violence at Bhima-Koregaon in the district the next day.

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