A special UAPA court in Pune Wednesday rejected the bail pleas of six of the nine arrested accused — Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Varavara Rao, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut and Surendra Gadling — in the Elgaar Parishad case. The court also said that it could now move for trial if both the parties were ready.
Of the total 23 persons named as accused in the 2018 Elgaar Parishad case, Pune police had arrested nine — the six named above, and Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira — who been have been in jail from June and August last year.
Police have claimed that these people are members of the banned organisation CPI (Maoist). The case has been argued before three different judges so far, and the defence had to argue afresh everytime a new judge was assigned to the special court for cases under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
The arguments by the defence and the prosecution on the bail pleas for Dhawale, Wilson, Rao, Sen, Raut and Gadling had concluded before Special Judge SR Navandar and the order was scheduled for Wednesday.
On Wednesday afternoon, Judge Navandar ruled in presence of all nine accused. He said that the evidence present before the court, if considered in entirety, prima facie shows that all applicants are not only members of the banned organisation but were actively working to achieve its objectives. The court said acts of the applicants were against democracy. “All bail applications before this court are now decided and we are now ready to move for trial if you are ready,” the court said.
The bail applications of Bharadwaj, Gonsalves and Ferreira were recently rejected by the Bombay High Court, after being earlier rejected by the special court.