Bhima Koregaon: Jyoti Jagtap’s bail plea adjourned again, to be heard with Shoma Sen’s

A division Bench of the Supreme Court observed that it was in the interest of justice to hear “part-heard” matters arising out of the same first information report together.

TODAY, the Supreme Court adjourned hearing of the bail application of anti-caste activist and musical performer Jyoti Jagtap again.

The court reasoned that it was better to hear “part-heard” matters pertaining to the Bhima Koregaon–Elgar Parishad case together.

A division Bench comprising Justices Aniruddha Bose and Sanjay Kumar directed Jagtap’s bail to be tagged along with the bail application of women’s rights activist and academic Shoma Sen.

Jagtap is an accused in the Bhima Koregaon–Elgar Parishad case and charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA).

Jagtap has been incarcerated as an undertrial since September 8, 2020, and is lodged at the Byculla jail in Mumbai.

During the previous hearing on December 7 last year, a three-judge Bench comprising Justices Aniruddha Bose, Sudhanshu Dhulia and Augustine George Masih had adjourned the matter. The Bench had said it will hear Jagtap’s bail plea after hearing Sen’s bail application.

Today, Additional Solicitor General K.M. Nataraj, on behalf of the National Investigation Agency, submitted that bail applications arising from the same Bhima Koregaon matter should be taken up together.

While not objecting to the clubbing of the matters, advocate Aparna Bhatt, appearing for Jagtap, pointed out that her client has been in custody for over three years.

On hearing both parties, the Bench stated that in the interest of justice, all appeals arising out of the same first information report in the Bhima Koregaon case will be heard together.

Consequently, Jagtap’s bail plea was directed to be tagged with Sen’s bail application.

During the course of the hearing, Justice Bose reiterated that the parameters set in the judgment granting bail to co-accused Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira will be applied to the bail plea of Jagtap.

Following the application of the parameters, the court will check each piece of evidence that has been relied upon by the prosecution, Justice Bose added.

On January 6, another Bench of the Supreme Court extended the stay on bail granted to journalist and human rights activist Gautam Navlakha on Raju’s request that Navlakha’s matter should be placed along with NIA’s appeal in the case of another co-accused— forest rights activist, Mahesh Raut.

On January 11, the Supreme Court tagged Navlakha’s bail application with academic and activist Hany Babu’s.

The court has extended the stay on Navlakha’s bail till the Chief Justice of India allocates the matter to a Bench.


On February 14, 2022, a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court denied bail to Jagtap and three other co-accused in the Bhima Koregaon case. The court maintained that the accused had hatched a “serious conspiracy” to create unrest in the country.

On October 17, 2022, the Bombay High Court rejected her appeal which was filed against the Order of a special court under the National Investigation Agency, Act, dated February 14, 2022, under which her bail application was rejected.

According to the high court, Jagtap was involved in a “terrorist act” by organising the Elgar Parishad event and associating with prominent members of the banned organisation Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Trial is yet to begin in the Bhima Koregaon case. The prosecution has filed a chargesheet exceeding 5,000 pages and intends to cross-examine at least 200 witnesses. Several of the accused persons have now spent almost five years in judicial custody without trial.

Five of the accused persons, Sudha Bharadwaj, Varavara Rao, Anand Teltumbde, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira have managed to secure bail so far. Another co-accused Mahesh Raut was granted bail by the Bombay High Court but it was stayed by the Supreme Court. Father Stan Swamy, who was a co-accused, passed away due to Covid in custody in June 2021 after incarceration of over seven months.

An investigation by Arsenal Consulting, a leading, independent expert firm on digital forensics, has revealed that sophisticated malware was used to plant the digital evidence that forms the basis for the prosecution’s case on the devices of two of the accused persons in the case, Gadling and Wilson.

Arsenal’s findings were published in four reports in 2021.