Relief for Activist Gautam Navlakha, SC Grants Bail in Elgar Parishad Case

Gautam Navlakha

The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted bail to human rights activist Gautam Navlakha in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case.

Justices M M Sundresh and S V N Bhatti declined to extend the stay imposed by the Bombay High Court order on Navlakha’s bail in the case.

The bench also instructed Navlakha to pay Rs 20 lakh towards expenses for security during his house arrest.

“We are inclined not to extend the stay as the high court order is detailed in granting bail. The trial would take years and years for completion. Without delving into contentions at length, we will not extend the stay. A sum of Rs 20 lakh is to be paid to the opposite party at the earliest,” the bench stated.

The apex court observed that Navlakha has been in jail for over four years and charges are yet to be framed in the case.

Bombay High Court Granted Bail

On December, 2023, the Bombay High Court had granted bail to Navlakha but stayed its order for three weeks after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) sought time to file an appeal in the Supreme Court.

Arrest in 2018

Gautam Navlakha, detained in August 2018, had been permitted by the Supreme Court in November last year to be placed under house arrest. Presently residing in Navi Mumbai, the activist’s situation revolves around alleged inflammatory speeches during the Elgar Parishad conclave in Pune on December 31, 2017. Authorities claim these speeches incited violence near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial on the outskirts of Pune the following day.

In connection with this case, 16 activists have faced arrests, with five of them currently out on bail.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte