Sunday, January 29, 2023

Elgar case accused Surendra Gadling seeks bail from HC

Advocate Surendra Gadling, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, has moved the Bombay High Court seeking `default’ bail or bail on technical grounds.
A division bench of Justices A S Gadkari and P D Naik on Wednesday asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to file its response to Gadling’s plea.
He moved the high court through advocate Yashodeep Deshmukh after the special NIA court rejected his bail application in June 2022.
He had originally filed an application for default bail in 2018 in the Pune sessions court when the case was being probed by Pune Police.
The 90-day extension granted by the sessions court to the police for filing charge sheet was “illegal”, and hence the accused were entitled for bail under the Code of Criminal Procedure, the application said.
In his petition before the HC, Gadling claimed that the special court did not consider the fact that the Pune court had “no jurisdiction to extend the time for completion of investigation”.
The NIA court also failed to take into consideration the effects of the HC judgment which granted bail to co-accused Sudha Bharadwaj even when the facts were similar, it said.
A total of 16 persons were arrested in the case including Jesuit priest Stan Swamy who died at a private hospital while in judicial custody.
Activist Gautam Navlakha was the first one to be granted regular bail. Telugu poet-activist Varavara Rao is out on medical bail.
The case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the police claimed triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial in Pune district.
The Pune police also claimed that the conclave was backed by Maoists. The probe was later transferred to the NIA.

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