The Supreme Court (SC) on Friday extended the interim protection from arrest granted to civil rights activist Gautam Navlakha till October 15, when it will next hear the matter. Navlakha had been named by the Mumbai police as one of the accused in the Koregaon Bhima violence case.
A two-judge bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta agreed to hear Navlakha’s plea against a September 13 order of the Bombay High Court refusing to quash the First Information Report (FIR) against him. The bench asked the state government to produce certain materials before it in a sealed cover. The high court had refused to quash the FIR lodged against Navlakha for allegedly having Maoist links, noting that there was prima facie substance in the case.
“Certain material which was produced before the high court, in a sealed cover, is not available today. The counsel appearing for the state of Maharashtra has prayed for time to produce the material. List the petition for further hearing on October 15, 2019 at 3 PM. In the meantime, interim protection granted by the high court shall continue,” the two-judge Bench said. The interim protection granted to Navlakha was due to end on Friday.
The two-judge Bench in the apex court heard the case on Friday after five judges, including Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, had recused from the case.
Pune police had in 2018 lodged an FIR against Navlakha and others after the Elgar Parishad, held on December 31, 2017 had allegedly triggered violence on January 1. Besides Navlakha, Varavara Rao, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, and Sudha Bharadwaj have also been named by the police in the case.