Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019 | Last Update : 08:53 PM IST

Petition by Navlakha to quash FIR rejected

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Sep 14, 2019, 2:19 am IST
Updated : Sep 14, 2019, 2:19 am IST

Navlakha’s lawyer Chaudhary had argued that the activist was an author and a peace activist and was a specialist on conflict zones.

Gautam Navlakha
 Gautam Navlakha

Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Friday rejected the plea of activist Gautam Navlakha to quash the FIR registered against him by the Pune police in January 2018 for his alleged involvement in the Bhima-Koregaon violence. However, the court has extended its earlier interim relief protecting him from coercive action for three weeks, which will enable him to approach the apex court.

The court, while rejecting his plea, noted, “We have perused and considered the documents submitted by the prosecutor in a sealed envelope. We are satisfied that the investigating agency has material to connect the petitioner to the crime and the probe is underway.”

A division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Bharti Dangre while hearing the petition filed by Navlakha, observed, “Considering the magnitude of the case, we feel a thorough investigation is required”. The state government had vehemently opposed his plea and also alleged that Navlakha and other accused in the case had Maoist links and were working to overthrowing the government.

On Friday, The court while delivering the order said, “The offence is not limited to Bhima- Koregaon violence. There are more aspects to it. Therefore, more investigation is required”.

After the bench pronounced its order, Navlakha's counsel Yug Chaudhary sought an extension of the interim protection from arrest granted to Navlakha by the high court after he had filed the petition. The bench agreed and extended the protection from arrest to Navlakha for a period of three weeks to enable him to approach the Supreme Court in appeal against the HC order.

Navlakha, Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and Sudha Bharadwaj were booked under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the IPC.

Navlakha’s lawyer Chaudhary had argued that the activist was an author and a peace activist and was a specialist on conflict zones.

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