The Bombay High Court has on Friday rejected a bail plea filed by ‘Urban Naxal’ Sidha Bharadwaj, arrested in connection with the violence that broke out at Elgar Parishad in January 2018. The accused in the Bhima Koregaon case had sought bail on grounds of health in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. However, the Court did not see merit in her application. The plea was filed against denial of bail after an NIA Court rejected her medical bail.
Dismissing the bail plea, the Court noted, “In our view, no case is made out for grant of bail. This appeal is devoid of merits.” The Court mandated that Sudha Bharadwaj will continue to be provided medical aid at the Byculla Women’s Jail in Mumbai where she is currently lodged at. Advocate Ragini Ahuja had contended that there were discrepancies in the medical reports filed by authorities on the 23rd of July and the 21st of August.
“The two reports are contrary to each other and the report dated August 21 might be bogus. How can a person recover completely of a heart condition in just four weeks,” Ahuja told the Court. However, the Court observed that the latest medical report concerned itself with Bharadwaj’s vital parameters with respect to COVID-19 and the submissions made by Sudha Bharadwaj in the Court had no substance on inconsistencies in the medical report.
NIA opposed bail plea by Sudha Bharadwaj
The NIA had opposed the bail plea by Sudha Bharadwaj and told the Court that she was being provided proper health facilities and her health was monitored regularly. Additional Solicitor General of Maharashtra and Goa, Anil Singh, who served as the NIA’s counsel in the matter, said, “NIA strongly opposes the plea. She has been taken care in the jail and her bail has been previously rejected on merits because of her involvement in anti-terrorist and anti-national activities.”
What is the Bhima Koregaon Violence Case?
The event by the name of “Elgar Parishad” was organised to commemorate the Battle of Bhima Koregaon of 1818, wherein the Peshwas fought against the between East India Company. In the war, an army of Dalit soldiers had fought under the British forces against the Peshwa, the reason for the celebration by Dalits. In 2018, it was the 200 year anniversary of the war and extreme violence erupted over the matter.
Soon after, the case was transferred to the NIA. The Pune police had arrested a total of nine supposed “intellectuals” such as Sudha Bharadwaj, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Shoma Sen, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, and Varavara Rao for inciteful speeches.