Updated: July 26, 2021 5:34:39 pm
The Bombay High Court Monday reserved its verdict in a plea by lawyer Surendra Gadling, accused in the Elgar Parishad case, seeking interim/temporary bail to perform rituals on the first death anniversary of his mother. Gadling has filed an appeal in HC against a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court order of September last year, which rejected his temporary bail application to attend the final rites of his mother, who had died in August that year.
A division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice N J Jamadar was hearing Gadling’s plea. The NIA had filed an affidavit opposing the plea last week, saying that the special court’s order was passed nearly ten months ago, and the reasons for bail sought at that time do not exist today.
“Temporary bail cannot be granted to the present accused for a reason which does not survive now. The seriousness of the offence, coupled with the fact that the reason for temporary bail does not survive now is sufficient to reject the application,” the NIA’s reply stated, adding that the plea was a “gross misuse of law”.
Senior advocate Indira Jaising representing Gadling submitted that his mother had passed away on August 15 last year. His bail plea to perform the last rites was rejected, and the family had not been in a position to complete the rituals. His brother and other members had been infected with Covid-19 and hospitalised.
The counsel submitted that Gadling seeks three weeks interim bail to perform the same and will abide by all conditions that may be imposed on him.
Jaising said that Gadling can be granted interim bail on “humanitarian grounds” and the same was valid under section 43D of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). She referred to co-accused Sudha Bharadwaj, who was granted interim bail to attend her father’s final rite in 2019.
Stating that the special court was in error in refusing him an interim bail, Gadling sought interim relief from the HC.
Advocate Sandesh Patil representing NIA opposed the plea and said that granting interim bail was not required as the death occurred last year and the ground or reason for temporary bail does not exist anymore.
“The appellant says that he wants to join the family for the last rituals, but the cremation is over. He has an elder brother and eight other family members who can perform those rituals on his behalf and new reasons given by him seeking interim bail do not stand today. The appeal should be dismissed,” Patil argued.
After hearing the submissions, the bench reserved its order in the plea and will pronounce it in due course.
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