ANI Photo | Bhima Koregaon case: SC asks NIA to respond in 4 weeks on shifting of house arrest place for Gautam Navlakha

The Supreme Court on Friday granted four weeks time to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to file an affidavit on the application of Gautam Navlakha, who is under house arrest in the Bhima Koregaon case and is seeking a change in the location of house arrest.
A bench of Justices MM Sundresh and JB Pardiwala adjourned the matter for eight weeks while granting time to the central agency to file its reply to an application by Navlakha.
The bench granted time to NIA to file a response after Navlakha’s lawyer told the bench that the apex court had directed the agency to file its reply in April but it has not submitted its response to date.
Navlaka had filed an application seeking to be shifted from the public library, under the control of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Mumbai, where he is under house arrest, to some other place in the city as the public library needed to be vacated.
On November 10, the apex court in an interim order permitted Navlakha to be placed under house arrest for a period of one month considering his health condition and old age. Later it had extended his house arrest.
The top court had put a number of conditions, including a deposit of Rs 2.4 lakh as the expenses to be borne by the state for making available police personnel to effectively facilitate placing him under house arrest.
Navlakha had moved the top court requesting that he be placed under house arrest instead of judicial custody in Taloja jail, Maharashtra.
The apex court had imposed several conditions on Navlakha including he shall not use any mobile phone, laptop, communication device or gadget. He shall use the phone to be provided by police personnel on duty. He will be able to use his phone once a day for 10 minutes in the presence of the police.
NIA had vehemently opposed Navlakha’s plea saying his condition has been improved and there was no need to put him under house arrest.
Earlier, the apex court had allowed the Superintendent of Taloja prison in Maharashtra to shift jailed activist Navlakha to Mumbai’s Jaslok hospital for medical checkup and treatment.
It was said that receiving medical treatment is a fundamental right of a prisoner.
The 70-year-old Navlakha had told the bench that he had colon cancer and required a colonoscopy and also a check-up for skin allergy and dental issues.
Navlakha had moved the top court challenging the April 26 order of the Bombay High Court which had dismissed his plea for house arrest over apprehensions of lack of adequate medical and other basic facilities in Taloja jail near Mumbai where he is currently lodged.
The High Court had said Navlakha’s apprehensions about the lack of medical aid and inadequate basic facilities at the Taloja prison, were “ill-founded”.
Navlakha, one of the several civil liberties activists in the Bhima Koregaon case, has been booked under stringent provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for an alleged conspiracy to topple the government. He was arrested by the probe agency in April 2020.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had granted bail to 82-year-old activist P Varavara Rao in the case

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