SC Disposes Navlakha's Plea To Quash Bhima Koregaon FIR By Asking Him To Seek Pre-Arrest Bail; Interim Protection Extended By 4 Weeks

SC Disposes Navlakha

The Supreme Court on Tuesday disposed of the petition of Gautam Navlakha for quashing the FIR in Bhima Koregaon case by asking him to seek pre-arrest bail under Section 438 CrPC . The interim protection from arrest already granted to him has been extended to seek anticipatory bail.

The bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta expressed disinclination to entertain the plea for quashing the FIR alleging Maoist links.

Though Senior Advocate Dr A M Singhvi submitted that the offences under UAPA were not attracted to Navlakha, the bench was not inclined to entertain the argument.

Justice Arun Mishra, heading the bench, observed that it was not proper to quash the FIR when investigation is progressing.

At the beginning, a sealed cover containing case documents was handed over to the bench by the Maharashtra government.

The case was posted before the special bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta, after recusal of five judges - CJI Gogoi, Justices Ramana, Subhash Reddy, Gavai and Ravindra Bhat - from the matter. On October 4, the bench had granted two weeks protection to Navlakha.

In Bombay High Court, the division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Bharati Dangre observed that there was prima facie material against the 65-year-old activist referring to the document submitted in a sealed envelope by Additional Public Prosecutor Aruna Pai. The police claimed that they have material showing 'deep involvement' of Navlakha in Maoist conspiracy