Arun Ferreira Moves Bombay HC Seeking Default Bail in Bhima Koregaon Case

Shashwati Chowdhury

Published on: August 20, 2022 at 17:14 IST

In the 2018 Bhima Koregaon riots case, lawyer and activist Arun Ferreira has moved to the Bombay High Court seeking default bail.

The petition was brought before a bench led by Justice Revati Mohite Dere, whose Friday’s hearing was postponed without giving a reason. Another bench will now hear the appeal.

In his appeal, which was submitted through Advocate R Satyanarayanan, Ferreira claimed that his case was on par with that of his co-accused Sudha Bharadwaj, who had been granted default bail by a co-ordinate Bench of the High Court in December 2021.

On December 1, 2021, the High Court denied bail to Ferreira and seven other accused people while granting bail to Bharadwaj.

When demarcating Bharadwaj’s plea from the others in its order from December 1, the High Court made note that Bharadwaj’s application for default bail was still pending on the day the Pune Police submitted their application for an extension of time to file the chargesheet.

Ferreira noted that the difference between the two was that Ferreira’s bail plea was filed on the 94th day, whilst Bharadwaj’s was filed on day 91.

Ferreira submitted that the High Court had noted, in granting bail to Bharadwaj, that a court with competent jurisdiction had not extended the time for investigation and detention as required by Sections 43D(2) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The argument was that he should also benefit from the finding.

For his alleged involvement in the rioting that occurred in Bhima Koregaon during the Elgar Parishad event that was conducted in January 2018, Ferreira was arrested in August 2018.

Ferreira and the other two accused prayed for their release on bail and sought for the correction of an alleged error in the judgment from December 2021.

The Bench held that the bail applications stated in the review application had never been brought before the Court, rejecting the argument that there were no factual errors.Following this rejection, the present appeal was eventually filed.

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