[dropcap]T[/dropcap]HE Supreme Court on Tuesday extended the interim protection granted to rights activist Gautam Navlakha for four weeks, directing him to seek anticipatory bail under section 438 of CrPC in Bhima Koregoan case.
A two-judge bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta disposed of the petition filed by Navlakha, maintaining that it was not proper to quash the FIR when investigation was in progressing.
The counsel appearing for the State of Maharashtra objected to the extension of the interim protection to Navlakha, to which the bench questioned the State as to why they had not interrogated him for over a year.
On September 13, a two-judge bench of the Bombay High Court comprising Justices Ranjit More and Dangre had refused to quash the FIR registered against Navlakha. The court had observed that there was “prima facie material against him” referring to the sealed envelope submitted by the Additional Public Prosecutor ArunaPai allegedly claiming to contain documents showing deep involvement of Navlakha in conspiring the violence during the Bhima-Koregoan commemoration in 2018.
The Pune police booked 65-year-old civil rights activist Navlakha and other activists under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and the Indian Penal Code.
Besides Navlakha, four other rights activists – Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves and SudhaBharadwaj – are accused in the case.
Earlier today, a single judge bench of Justice Sarang V Kotwal had dismissed bail applications filed by rights activists SudhaBharadwaj, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves in BhimaKoregoan case.