A Special UAPA court in Pune will today hear the anticipatory bail application of Delhi based activist Gautam Navlakha, who is an accused Elgaar Parishad case. The same court has on Wednesday rejected the regular bail applications of six of the nine accused arrested in the case since June and August last year.
The Supreme Court on October 15 had extended the interim protection from arrest granted to Navlakha by four weeks and had granted him liberty to approach the concerned court to seek bail. After Navlakha approached the Bombay High Court for the anticipatory bail, it had directed him on Monday to approach the special UAPA court in Pune. The HC had also further directed prosecution in Elgaar Parishad case to avoid seeking adjournments while matter is being heard by the Special Court.
On Tuesday, Adv Yug Mohit Chaudhry who is representing Navlakha, had filed the application before Special Judge SR Navandar. Adv Chaudhry drew the attention of Special court to the Bombay HC order on Monday which had said that “since the protection granted by the Apex Court is for four weeks, it is expected that the Special Court would decide the application, as expeditiously as possible.” The court said that it had considered the request by Adv Chaudhry, however due to load of the cases and scheduled bail hearing in the same case on Wednesday, it would hear arguments from both the sides on Thursday.
On September 13 in a setback to Navlakha, High Court had rejected his plea seeking to quash the First Information Report filed against him by the Pune Police in Elgaar Parishad case. Subsequently in first week of October the Supreme Court extended the interim protection granted to Gautam Navlakha till October 15, which was extended by the apex court for four weeks till November 12.
Pune City Police has so far booked 23 persons which include prominent activists and lawyers in connection with the case and has alleged these persons have links with the banned CPI-Maoist. Police have alleged that the Elgaar Parishad, a one-day conclave held in Shaniwar Wada on December 31, 2017, was organised with help from Maoists. Police have till now arrested nine of these persons who are currently lodged in Yerawada jail. While ruling on the bail application of six of these nine accused, the court had said it could now move trial in the case if both sides were ready for it.