The Delhi High Court, on May 22, 2020, issued notice in Gautam Navlakha’s interim bail plea; in relation to the Bhima Koregaon case. Accordingly, a Single Judge Bench of justice Anup J Bhambhani, issued Notice to National Investigating Agency (NIA) seeking its response.
In his interim bail plea, Navlakah has submitted that he is a 67-year-old; and remains lodged in Central Jail No. 3, Tihar. Advocates Warisha Farasat, Ashwath Sitaraman, Shruti Narayan filed the interim bail plea. Navlakha is vulnerable to COVID-19 infection; in a crowded environment like that of a prison. The Court was also informed that Navlakah is suffering from Colonic Polyposis, Chronic Gastritis and lactose intolerance. Further, Navlakha in NIA custody stands diagnosed with high blood pressure, increasing the risk of his morbidity. Navlakha has also asserted that in terms of the recommendations of the Maharashtra High Powered Committee; prisoners above the age of 60 years were allowed to apply for bail, irrespective of the statutes under which they have been charged.
Supreme Court, however, rejected Navlakha’s plea seeking pre-arrest bail in the Bhima Koregaon case in March; after the court stood satisfied with the existence of a prima facie case against the accused under UAPA. Notably, Navlakha had surrendered before the NIA in April this year; after the Supreme Court refused to extend the interim protection.