Gautam Navlakha Case: NIA said- SC was misled in Navlakha case; The court asked sharp questions

Pankaj Prasad
Gautam Navlakha Case
Gautam Navlakha Case

NIA has said that the Supreme Court was deliberately misled in granting house arrest to activist Gautam Navlakha, an accused in the Koregaon-Bhima case.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has said that the Supreme Court was deliberately misled in granting house arrest to activist Gautam Navlakha, an accused in the Koregaon-Bhima case. Reacting sharply, the Supreme Court refused to withdraw its order, saying certain safeguards were required during detention. Even after a week of the Supreme Court's order, 70-year-old Gautam Navlakha is yet to be taken out of jail. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who is handling the NIA's case, raised concerns about the security of the place chosen by Navlakha's team and urged the court to set aside the house arrest decision.

Supreme Court said, if you cannot keep, then we will keep vigil  

The Supreme Court reacted sharply to the objections. The court said, are Solicitor General Mehta and ASG (Additional Solicitor General SV Raju) here to say that the police cannot keep a watch on a 70-year-old ailing man? When the NIA sought time till Monday, Justice KM Joseph said, "You think we cannot see the attempts to delay the case?" Why should we postpone the matter till Monday? We are passing an order. The agency alleged that Navlakha had links with terrorists, to which Justice Hrishikesh Roy said, "So you say you can't do surveillance, we will." When the SG and ASG are standing here saying that a 70 year old sick person cannot be kept in jail. Is the state incapable of caring? If you can't care then let us care. 

Navlakha has been in jail since April 2020 in a case related to the violence that broke out a day after he allegedly delivered an inflammatory speech at the Elgar Parishad conference on January 1 in Koregaon-Bhima, Maharashtra. The Pune police had claimed that the conference was supported by Maoists. Responding to Navlakha's request on health grounds last week, the Supreme Court allowed him house arrest for a month and said the order should be implemented within 48 hours. But his release has been delayed. His lawyer alleged that the NIA was dragging its feet.

Solicitor General's argument, Navlakha refused to go to the hospital

The NIA said that the argument of the worker's medical condition is a sham. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said in the court that we have given an application to quash the previous order. The facts are really disturbing. Everyone speculated that Gautam Navlakha was not well. He refused to go to three hospitals. He was taken to the hospital every time he had a health problem, in some cases he refused to go to the hospital himself. The Supreme Court questioned whether the government wanted a review of its house arrest order.

Mehta said, I am discharging this duty with a heavy heart. There are many prisoners here, same age and same diseases, but they have no facility like house arrest. Your Lordship was deliberately misled. The counter-terrorist agency argued that the place mentioned for house arrest is the office of the Communist Party of India (CPI). Justice KM Joseph said that CPI is a recognized party of India. what is a problem. On this the Solicitor General said that if this does not shock you then what can I say. Supreme Court replied- No, it does not shock us.