Elgar Parishad case: SC rejects NIA’s plea against Bombay HC order granting bail to Sudha Bharadwaj

The High Court granted Bharadwaj default bail on December 1 on the ground that her detention under the Unlawful Activist (Prevention) Act (UAPA) was extended by a session’s court that had no power to do so.

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NEW-DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) appeal demanding the default bail granted to activist Sudha Bharadwaj in the Elgar Parishad case.

A bench of Justices U U Lalit, Ravindra Bhat and Bela Trivedi turned down the agency’s plea saying it found no reason to interfere with the Bombay High Court order granting her bail.

The High Court granted Bharadwaj default bail on December 1 on the ground that her detention under the Unlawful Activist (Prevention) Act (UAPA) was extended by a session’s court that had no power to do so.

The HC said that when a special court assigned under the NIA Act, 2008, existed in Pune, the sessions judge had no jurisdiction to extend the detention beyond the specified 90 days. It was directed that she constructed before the Special NIA court on December 8 for the terms and conditions of her bail and date of her release is still needs to be decided.

It, however, rejected the default bail pleas filed by Varavara Rao, Sudhir Dhawale, Vernon Gonsalves, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut and Arun Ferreira.

Bharadwaj is the first among 16 activists arrested in the case to have been granted default bail. Poet-activist Varavara Rao is currently out on medical bail. Jesuit priest Stan Swamy died in a private hospital on July 5 this year, while waiting for medical bail.

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