In Sudha Bharadwaj bail plea the Supreme Court has now dismissed the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) appeal challenging the Bombay High Court’s default bail order to lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj. She was arrested in Bhima Koregaon – Elgar Parishad caste violence case. She was lodged in the Byculla woman’s cell.
Justices U U Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat and Bela M Trivedi said on Tuesday that they see no reason to interfere with the High Court’s decision. The NIA had moved to the Supreme Court against the December 1 order of granting default bail. Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi argued that the high court was wrong in holding that Bharadwaj was entitled to default bail, and contested a Supreme Court ruling from 2020 which had led to this conclusion.
On December 1 her bail was granted by a division bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar. They issued directions for the production of the activist before a special National Investigation Agency court on December 8 to discuss the terms of her bail. The judges had reserved their verdict on Bharadwaj’s bail plea after a hearing on August 4.
Bharadwaj was accused of a conspiracy to overthrow the Union government. The High court said she is entitled to bail and its denial would be in breach of her fundamental right to life and personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution, the high court had said.
As many as 16 activists and academicians were arrested in lieu of this case and have been granted default bail. Bharadwaj was booked under sections 505,117,153a and 120 of the Indian Penal Code along with relevant sections under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
On December 31sr, 2017, alleged inflammatory speeches were delivered at the Elgar Parishad conclave at Shaniwarwada in Pune. The authorities claimed this led to violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial located on Pune’s outskirts.