Published On: Fri, Jul 28th, 2023

SC grants bail to Gonsalves, Ferreira in Bhima Koregaon case

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday granted bail to activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, noting that they have been in custody for five years.

It also directed the two activists to use one mobile each

A bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Sudhanshu Dhulia granted bail to Gonsalves and Ferreira under certain strict conditions.

The duo cannot leave Maharashtra without obtaining the trial court’s permission and have to surrender their passports to investigating officer of the National Investigation Agency. There are also restrictions on where they live and the use of mobile phones, among others.

It also directed the two activists to use one mobile each and let the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the case, know their addresses. The activists had moved the top court against a Bombay High Court order rejecting their bail pleas. The duo argued that the Bombay HC had denied them bail even though it had granted the same to co-accused Sudha Bharadwaj.

The case pertains to the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which according to the Pune police was funded by Maoists. The inflammatory speeches made there led to violence at the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial in Pune the next day in which one person was killed, police had alleged.

Activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira were arrested in August 2018 and charged under the UAPA. The two were arrested along with other activists Sudha Bharadwaj, P Vara Vara Rao and Gautam Navlakha, and put under house arrest initially on the directions of the Supreme Court.

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