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Sunday, September 26, 2021

‘Purely on humanitarian ground’: Surendra Gadling granted temporary bail to perform rituals on mother’s first death anniversary

Gadling will have to surrender his passport and cannot leave Nagpur while he is out on bail from August 13 to 21

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: July 30, 2021 9:32:10 pm
The counsel submitted that Gadling seeks three weeks interim bail to perform the last rites of his mother and will abide by all conditions that may be imposed on him. (Express file photo: Pavan Khengre)

The Bombay High Court on Friday granted temporary bail to human rights lawyer Surendra Gadling, an accused in the Elgaar Parishad case, from August 13 to 21 to perform rituals on the first death anniversary of his mother. Gadling was denied bail to perform the funeral rites when his mother died last year. He had then filed an appeal in the High Court against the order by a special NIA court, dated September 2020.

The HC, while granting the bail “purely on humanitarian ground”, also asked Gadling to furnish a personal bond of Rs 50,000 with one or two sureties in the like amount to the satisfaction of the special NIA court.

According to conditions imposed by the court, Gadling will have to surrender his passport before the NIA court and cannot leave Nagpur during the time that he is out on bail. On release, he will have to attend National Investigation Agency (NIA) office and provide his whole itinerary and details of stay in Nagpur. Gadling will also have to attend the police station in the area where he resides on August 16 and 19 at 10 am. He cannot leave Nagpur except for the proposed visit to immerse his mother’s ashes in Bina river on August 18. Gadling has been asked to surrender before the superintendent of Taloja prison by 6 pm on August 21, and “prayer for extension of period of bail will not be entertained.”

On July 26, a division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice N J Jamadar had reserved its order on Gadling’s plea seeking interim relief.

The NIA filed an affidavit opposing the plea and said the special court had passed the order nearly 10 months ago, and reasons for bail sought then did not exist now.

Senior advocate Indira Jaising, representing Gadling, submitted that his mother died on August 15 last year. While his bail plea to perform her last rites was rejected, circumstances were such that his brother and other family members were not in a position to perform the rites, as they were suffering from Covid-19 and hospitalised.

Jaising said Gadling can be granted relief on “humanitarian grounds” valid under Section 43D of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and referred that co-accused Sudha Bharadwaj was granted interim bail to attend her father’s final rites in 2019.

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