Prosecutor vehemently opposed the ABA and challenged the maintainability of the application in the court.
Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Monday refused to give any relief to civil liberties activist Gautam Navlakha. Mr Navlakha had approached the HC seeking anticipatory bail.
A single bench of Justice P.D. Naik was hearing the anticipatory bail application (ABA) filed by Mr Navlakha, an accused in the Bhima-Koregaon riots case, where one person died and hundred others got injured.
Justice Naik asked Mr Navlakha’s counsel Yug Choudhary as to why he directly approached the HC instead of moving the special UAPA court in Pune. Advocate Choudhary argued that since the hearing of ABA and bail applications of other accused was already underway in the HC, he, too, directly moved the HC to save the judiciary’s time.
“The Supreme Court has given him (Mr Navlakha) protection from arrest till November 12 therefore he already has very less time in hand and there is no point going before the sessions court and coming again before the HC,” advocate Choudhary argued.
However, special public prosecutor (SPP) Aruna Pai vehemently opposed the ABA and challenged the maintainability of the application in the court. “Other accused followed the process. So how can this person (Mr Navlakha) be given special treatment?” she said.
The court also said that it could not allow this application otherwise it would become a precedent and everyone who approached the high court would cite Mr Navlakha’s example.
Advocate Choudhary then urged the court to at least direct the special court to expedite hearing of the application, which the court accepted.
The Bombay high court on September 13 had refused to quash the case lodged against Mr Navlakha in the Bhima-Koregaon riots case, noting that there was prima facie substance in the case.