Bhima Koregaon Accused Gautam Navlakha Freed from Taloja Central Jail, Will be Placed Under House Arrest

Gautam Navlakha Law Insider

Sakina Tashrifwala

Published on: 21 November 2022 at 20:41 IST

The 2018 Bhima Koregaon case defendant Gautam Navlakha has been freed from Taloja Central Prison. He will continue to reside in the Navi Mumbai area for the ensuing month in accordance with the Supreme Court’s ruling ordering that he be placed under house arrest.

The National Investigation Agency was criticised by the Supreme Court on Friday for disobeying its order from November 10 directing it to move activist Gautam Navlakha from Taloja Prison, where he is currently being held in connection with the Elgar Parishad Maoist links case, to the house specified by him within 24 hours. The order was issued by the Supreme Court.

The 73-year-old will live in the residence for the next month, but the bench of Justices K.M. Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy allowed NIA to install additional security measures, such as locking the hall grills and shutting the kitchen door leading to the departure point.

The Apex Court noted that the activist had complied with the requirement to install CCTV cameras at both exit points, but that the NIA should make the decision on moving the DVRs of the CCTV cameras that were put in the home.

The Supreme Court verbally told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who represented the National Investigation Agency (NIA) at the hearing, that if the national agency attempted to circumvent its decision and disobey it, the court would take a “very serious” view of it.

Further criticising Mehta, it said that the national agency should consider its flaws if the entire police force was unable to keep an eye on or confine a 70-year-old sick man to his home.

The NIA’s objection to the residence where Navlakha would be placed under house arrest was further dismissed by the nation’s highest court.

The Bench ruled that because the CPI was a recognised political organisation in the nation, the fact that the Communist Party of India owned the space where Navlakha was located did not surprise the court.

Mehta continued by saying that he had nothing further to say if this reality failed to surprise the nation’s Supreme Court.

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