The Bombay High Court on Friday refused to grant anticipatory bail to journalist Gautam Navlakha and scholar Anand Teltumbde in the Bhima Koregaon case.
Justice PD Naik heard the applications filed by both accused and declined any relief to them. However, the interim protection from arrest granted to both the accused was extended for four weeks in order to grant the accused time to appeal before the apex court.
The Court also rejected the application filed by Pune police seeking personal appearance of the accused before the trial court.
Justice Naik had reserved the order in anticipatory bail applications filed by both the accused in December.
According to the police, both the accused have Maoist links and had a role to play in the caste-based violence that took place at Koregaon Bhima in Pune on January 1, 2018.
Prosecution's case is that Navlakha is an active leader of the banned CPI(Maoist) and Teltumbde has also been accused of being an active member. Pune Police also claimed that Navlakha was in touch with Kashmiri separatists and terrorist organisations. Regarding Teltumbde, police alleged he was working for frontal organisations of CPI(Maoist) organizations and indulged in creating an anti-government atmosphere amongst the public.
While Dr.Yug Mohit Chaudhary argued on behalf of Navlakha, Senior Counsel Mihir Desai appeared for Teltumbde in the case.
Since the Supreme Court refused to extend the interim protection from arrest granted to Navlakha earlier in October and asked him to seek relief before the Sessions Court, he approached the Sessions Court which rejected Navlakha's application noting that his custodial interrogation was necessary as the police had been trying to arrest him since 2018. Thereafter, Navlakha was granted protection from arrest by the High Court.