Bhima Koregaon case: Lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj to be released from jail today
The Supreme Court on Tuesday had dismissed an appeal by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) challenging an earlier Bombay High Court order granting default bail to lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj.
Advocate-activist Sudha Bharadwaj, accused in the Koregaon-Bhima case, will be released from jail on Wednesday, a day after getting relief from the Supreme Court. She has been asked to furnish a cash bond of Rs 50,000 with one or more sureties by the Special NIA court for granting her bail.
Activist Sudha Bharadwaj's lawyer pleaded with the NIA court in Mumbai to order her release from Byculla jail today itself. To which, the judge said that the order would be issued after receiving necessary documents and verification.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday had dismissed an appeal by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) challenging an earlier Bombay High Court order granting default bail to lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj, who was arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case in August 2018 under the provisions of stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
“We see no reason to interfere with the high court order. Dismissed,” said a bench of Justices UU Lalit, S Ravindra Bhat and Bela M Trivedi, refusing to consider the submissions raised by the NIA which had moved the apex court against the December 1 order.
The High Court had directed that Bharadwaj, lodged in the Byculla women's prison, be produced before the Mumbai special NIA court on Wednesday, December 8, and conditions of her bail and date of release be decided.
The case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at the Elgar Parishad conclave, held at Shaniwarwada in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the police claimed triggered violence the next day near the Bhima-Koregaon war memorial located on the city's outskirts. The Pune police had claimed the conclave was backed by Maoists. The probe in the case was later transferred to the NIA. Bharadwaj has been in custody for over three years awaiting trial.
Bharadwaj is the first among 16 activists and academicians arrested in the case to have been granted default bail. Poet-activist Varavara Rao is currently on medical bail. Jesuit priest Stan Swamy died in a private hospital here on July 5 this year while waiting for medical bail. The others are in custody as undertrials.