Bhima Koregoan case: SC asks HC to decide on Navlakha’s plea

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Gautam Navlakha

New Delhi, March 12 : The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Bombay High Court to decide on a plea moved by activist Gautam Navlakha for quashing of the FIR filed by Maharashtra police against him in the Bhima Koregoan case.

The Bench, comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna, asked the high court to decide on Navlakha’s pending plea within eight weeks. The plea is pending in the high court since October 2018.

Navlakha along with Sudha Bhardwaj, Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira are accused in the Bhima Koregoan case and for alleged links with the outlawed Communist Party of India-Maoist.

The court order came in the course of the hearing of a plea by the Maharashtra government challenging a Delhi High Court order granting bail to Navlakha, while setting aside the order of transit remand that was earlier passed by a Delhi court.

Appearing for Maharashtra, advocate Nishant Katneshwarkar said how could there be a habeas corpus petition when the accused is in lawful and judicial custody. He also questioned the court for seeking the case diary when the five accused were arrested from five different locations in Delhi, Faridabad, Thane, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

The matter relates to alleged singing of “objectionable songs” and instigating comments, speeches sloganeering ‘Elgar Conference’ by accused Sudhir Dhawale and others at Bhima Koregaon ‘Shouryadin Prerna Abhiyan’, organised by the Kabir Kala Manch on December 31, 2017.

Accusing the five of their links with CPI(Maoist), the Maharashtra government alleged they misled the backward people to infuse radical Maoist thoughts in their minds.

As a part of their policy, the Kabir Kala Manch members Sudhir, Dhavale and others made instigating speech at various places in the state, which would “create enmity and violence in the society”, the Maharashtra petition had said.–IANS

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