Bhima-Koregaon: SC refuses to entertain bail plea of activist Sudha Bharadwaj

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 24 

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain an interim bail plea of activist Sudha Bharadwaj who has been arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the Elgar Parishad-Koregaon Bhima case.

Advocate Vrinda Grover, who represented Bhardwaj, chose to withdraw her plea after a Bench headed by Justice UU Lalit made it clear that it would dismiss the plea seeking interim bail on medical grounds.

“Either you withdraw it or we will dismiss it,” the Bench told Grover even as it said the accused could seek regular bail.

“You have a good case on merits. Why don’t you file a regular bail application?” the Bench told Grover, noting that her bail plea was pending in the Bombay High Court.

Bharadwaj (58) had earlier moved the Bombay High Court seeking bail, saying that she suffered from chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. She has been lodged in the Byculla women’s prison since September 2018 following her arrest.

The case pertains to the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune district on December 31, 2017. NIA alleged that speeches made by some activists at the conclave led to violence near the Koregaon-Bhima War Memorial on the outskirts of Pune city the next day.

Grover submitted that her client had been in jail for more than two years and charges had not been framed in the case.

Besides, nothing incriminating had been recovered from Bharadwaj who was suffering from diabetes and other comorbidities that put her at a higher risk of contracting coronavirus at the Byculla women’s prison where an inmate had tested COVID19 positive.

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