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Bhima Koregaon: NIA Court Denies Bail To Journalist Gautam Navlakha Yet Again

Last month, the Bombay High Court had asked the NIA court to reconsider Navlakha’s bail plea.

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A special NIA court on Thursday, 6 April, denied regular bail to activist Gautam Navlakha, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case.

Last month, The Bombay High Court had directed the special NIA court to hear and decide Navlakha’s bail plea again.

'Cryptic order': The High Court had set the NIA's order aside after it found that the trial court had given “very cryptic” reasoning and “no analysis” in its order denying bail to Navlakha.

The NIA court had previously rejected the 73-year-old's bail plea on 5 September 2022. 

The case: Navlakha, accused of offences under several sections of the Indian Penal Code as well as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), has been incarcerated since August 2018.

House arrest: In November, last year the Supreme Court allowed his transfer to house-arrest owing to his crumbling health condition. He is currently living in Navi Mumbai in Maharashtra’s Thane district.

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The trial in the Bhima Koregaon case is yet to begin. Meanwhile, independent forensic experts have repeatedly raised concerns pertaining to alleged planting of evidence in connection with the matter — in which 16 people have been booked under the stringent UAPA.

One of Navlakha’s co-accused, Jessuit priest Stan Swamy died while awaiting trial on 5 July 2021. As per a forensic report by a United States-based digital forensics firm Arsenal Consulting, a hacker is believed to have planted evidence on a device owned by Swamy too.

(With inputs from Bar and Bench, Scroll and The Washington Post.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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