Elgar Parishad Case: SC Grants Two Week Interim Bail to Activist Mahesh Raut

Elgar Parishad Case

The Supreme Court on Friday granted activist Mahesh Raut interim bail for two weeks in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case to participate in the rituals following his grandmother’s death.

A vacation bench comprising Justices Vikram Nath and S V N Bhatti ordered that the interim bail would start on June 26. Raut must surrender by July 10 as per the court’s directive.

The bench passed the order in response to Raut’s plea for interim bail to attend the rituals scheduled for June 29-30 and July 5-6.

“Considering the facts and circumstances of the case and the period of incarceration already undergone by the respondent and also the nature of request made for the purpose, we are inclined to grant two weeks interim bail to the applicant which may commence from June 26, 2024 and end on July 10, 2024,” stated the bench.

The court specified that the terms and conditions of the release would be decided by the special court, with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) authorized to request the trial court to impose necessary stringent conditions.

“The applicant, upon release on June 26, shall surrender without fail on July 10, 2024, completing the two-week period,” it directed.

In September 2023, the Supreme Court extended the stay from the Bombay High Court on executing its bail order for Raut.

Previously, the NIA challenged the High Court’s September 21, 2023 bail order for Raut, who was arrested in June 2018 and is currently in judicial custody at Taloja prison.

Following the High Court’s decision, the NIA’s counsel moved the Supreme Court to stay its order, allowing the agency to challenge it.

During Friday’s hearing, Raut’s counsel informed the bench that the Bombay High Court had previously granted him bail, which the NIA then contested in the Supreme Court.

The NIA’s counsel mentioned that Raut sought interim bail due to his grandmother’s passing in May.

“Why the urgency to approach this court?” questioned the NIA’s counsel.

The bench noted that the NIA’s plea was pending before the Supreme Court.

“The bail granted by the High Court has been stayed by this court based on your petition. Where else can the respondent seek interim bail?” the bench remarked, adding, “Given the stay imposed by this court, do you expect the special court to entertain the applicant’s application?”

The case revolves around the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, allegedly funded by Maoists, according to Pune Police. The inflammatory speeches delivered there purportedly led to violence at the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial in Pune the next day. The case was subsequently investigated by the NIA.

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