The Bombay High Court on Friday declined to grant the anticipatory bail to Bhima Koregaon violence accused Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde in the Elgar Parishad-alleged Maoist links case. Justice PD Naik denied the pre-arrest bail pleas filed by them.
The court, however, upheld the provisional protection from arrest accorded to them for a period of four weeks so that they can file their appeal in the Supreme Court.
Bhima Koregaon case: Bombay High Court rejects the anticipatory bail plea of Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde. The court has given them 4-weeks time to approach the Supreme Court. pic.twitter.com/z0NhewneYN
— ANI (@ANI) February 14, 2020
Following the violence in Bhima Koregaon village on January 1, 2018, Gautam Navlakha, Anand Teltumbde along with others were booked by the Pune police for their Maoist links and several other charges.
The Pune Police had held that the “incendiary” and “provocative” speeches made at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, had resulted into caste violence at Bhima Koregaon the following day. The police claimed that the violence was supported by the Maoists.
Earlier last year, Navlakha and Teltumbde had approached a sessions court in Pune seeking pre-arrest bail but it was rejected by the court.
The court, in its order, had said, “It is clear that there is prima facie sufficient material to show that the applicant is not only a member of a banned organization but an active leader. Prima facie it can be noted that the organisation of Elgar Parishad at Pune was part of a larger conspiracy of the banned organization and Bhima Koregaon episode is one of the instances of execution of the said conspiracy. Therefore, the question of jurisdiction either of Pune Police or of this Court cannot be said to have merits, at least at this stage.”
However, in December 2019, they managed to secure interim protection from arrest from the high court pending disposal of their anticipatory bail pleas.
Amidst cries from the NCP leaders to withdraw the cases against the Bhima Koregaon accused, the centre last month transferred the cases from Pune Police to the National Investigative Agency (NIA).