Mumbai News

Elgar Parishad case: Bombay HC seeks NIA reply to Gautam Navlakha’s petition – Hindustan Times

The Bombay high court issued notices and directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to respond to a criminal appeal by Elgar Parishad accused Gautam Navlakha who moved the court against the order of a special NIA court rejecting his default bail plea. The HC will hear his plea on September 15.

A division bench of Justice SS Shinde and Justice MS Karnik was hearing Navlakha’s plea filed through advocate Ragini Ahuja against the trial court’s July 12 order. Navlakha in the plea submitted that while section 167 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) stipulated that the charge sheet should be filed within 90 days, NIA had failed to do so and as kept him in detention for more than 90 days. In view of this, he said he was entitled to be released on default bail as per law.

The NIA court on July 12 had refused his plea on the grounds that the period of house arrest could not be included in the period of detention and also held that during house arrest, Navlakha was never under the detention of police for investigation.

Earlier in April, Navlakha had surrendered before NIA in Delhi due to the Covid-19 pandemic and was lodged in Tihar Jail. He was brought to Mumbai on May 25 for further probe in the first information report (FIR) pending in Mumbai and was shifted to Taloja Central Jail in Navi Mumbai.

Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh for NIA said while the criminal appeal against July 12 special NIA court order was to be filed within 30 days as per law, the same was filed two weeks after the 30-day period and added that NIA had no objection for condoning the delay.

After hearing submissions, the bench issued a notice to NIA seeking its response and posted further hearing to September 15.