The Bombay High Court on Monday, 19 September, rejected the regular bail plea of Delhi University (DU) professor and Bhima Koregaon accused Hany Babu.
According to Bar and Bench, the verdict was pronounced by a bench of Justices Nitin Jamdar and NR Borkar.
Previously, in June, a bench of Justices Revati Mohite-Dere and VG Bisht had recused itself from hearing Babu’s bail plea. Prior to that, his plea was rejected by a special NIA court.
The DU professor was arrested in July 2020 from his residence in Delhi and is presently lodged at Mumbai’s Taloja jail. Babu had said in his plea that there was no evidence that even suggested that he had intended to or supported activities that may cause disaffection against India.
While the NIA alleged that a letter purportedly mentioning conspiracy to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi was found on Babu’s computer, the latter contended that the letter was not written by him, not addressed to him, and did not mention any role of his in the conspiracy.
Further, his lawyer Yug Mohit Chaudhry reportedly argued that NIA had not pointed out any act by Babu that would constitute an offence under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
“What is the terrorist act and where is the outcome? A war has to happen, people have to die, how can I be prosecuted for a terrorist act when no one has died?”Yug Mohit Chaudhry, Hany Babu’s lawyer
Further, his lawyer said:
Trial was yet to commence and would stretch over a long period as the NIA planned to examine over 200 witnesses for evidence spanning over 30,000 pages
Nothing in Babu’s conduct suggested that he would abscond if allowed bail
On 11 September, family and friends of several accused in the Bhima Koregaon case had released a note to the press, alleging negligence by prison authorities in providing adequate medical care to ailing and vulnerable inmates.
In that letter, the signatories had sought speedy treatment for political prisoners such as Babu – who, his family shares, still suffers from a blurred vision that began after he contracted an extremely serious eye infection post COVID (for which, too, his lawyers had to approach the courts to ensure treatment).
(With inputs from PTI and Bar and Bench.)
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