Bhima Koregaon Case: SC Asks NIA Court To Frame Charges Within 3 Months

The Supreme Court also allowed Varavara Rao to approach the trial court with his plea to travel to Hyderabad.

2 min read
Hindi Female
Edited By :Karan Mahadik

The Supreme Court on Thursday, 18 August, asked the Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) Court to decide on framing charges in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon case within a period of three months.

The NIA Court was also directed to decide the discharge applications filed by the accused in the case.

A bench comprising Justice UU Lalit and Justice Ravindra Bhat passed the direction while considering a petition filed by human rights activist Vernon Gonsalves seeking bail in the case.

NIA was further directed to separate activist Gonsalves’ trial from other accused persons who are absconding in the case and to issue proclaimed offender notice for the absconding persons, Live Law reported.

Gosalves had moved a plea challenging a 2019 Bombay High Court order, which rejected his bail application. The Supreme Court adjourned the plea for three months to track further developments.


In 2019, the Bombay High Court rejected the bail applications filed by activists Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves, and Arun Ferreira, observing that there was prima facie evidence that all three applicant accused were active members of CPI(Maoist), a banned organisation, which attracts Section 20 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

The apex court's directions come days after it granted regular bail to activist Varavara Rao on medical grounds.

However, the court had not allowed Rao to leave Mumbai, Maharashtra, where he has been residing with his wife Hemalatha for over a year.

On Thursday though, the Supreme Court allowed the activist to approach the trial court with his plea to travel to Hyderabad for cataract surgery.

A three-judge bench of Justices UU Lalit, SR Bhat, and Sudhanshu Dhulia noted that as per its 10 August order, it was directed that Rao shall not leave Greater Mumbai without permission from the trial court.

What Is the Bhima Koregaon Case?

The Bhima Koregaon case pertains to the alleged inflammatory speeches made at the 'Elgar Parishad' conclave, which was held at Shaniwarwada in Pune on 31 December 2017.

According to the Pune Police, the speeches delivered at the conclave had triggered violence near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial located on the city's outskirts, on the day after the conclave, that is, 1 January 2018. The police also claimed that the conclave had been backed by Maoists.

Till now, a total of 16 accused have been arrested in the case. One of the accused, Father Stan Swamy, died of cardiac arrest last year, a day before his bail hearing.

(With inputs from Live Law)

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