June 1, 2023

Sudha Bharadwaj was arrested on August 28, 2018 and has been in jail since then. (File)


The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the National Investigation Agency to file its affidavit by July 3 in response to the bail petition of activist Sudha Bharadwaj, an accused within the Elgar Parishad-Maoist hyperlinks case.

Bharadwaj was arrested on August 28, 2018 and has been in jail since then.

The case was registered towards her and another activists underneath provisions of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Bharadwaj had sought default bail, contending the trial decide was not authorised to take cognisance of the 2019 cost sheet filed towards her, because the decide was at the moment not designated as particular decide underneath the NIA Act to listen to issues pertaining to the UAPA.

A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar on Tuesday directed NIA’s advocate Sandesh Patil to file an affidavit in response to the petition and posted the matter for additional listening to on July 3.

In her petition, Bharadwaj relied on paperwork acquired from the excessive court docket underneath the Right to Information (RTI) Act to show that the court docket of Additional Sessions Judge Kishor Vadane in Pune was not authorised to take cognisance of the 1,800-page supplementary cost sheet filed by the Pune police in February 2019.

“This judge was not designated as a special NIA judge at the time and hence, could not have taken cognisance of the charge sheet. We are also challenging an earlier order passed by this judge in November 2018 granting the police time to file the charge sheet,” Bharadwaj’s counsel Yug Chaudhry argued.

The case pertains to alleged inflammatory speeches delivered on the “Elgar Parishad” conclave, held at Shaniwarwada in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the police claimed triggered violence the subsequent day close to the Koregaon-Bhima battle memorial situated on the town’s outskirts.

The Pune police claimed the conclave was backed by Maoists.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) later took over the probe into the case.

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