New Delhi [India], September 27 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notice to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Maharashtra government on the plea of jailed activist Gautam Navlakha seeking direction that he be placed under house arrest instead of judicial custody in Taloja jail in Bhima Koregaon violence case.
A bench of Justices KM Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy sought a response from the NIA and the State and posted the matter for hearing on September 29.
"Counsel points out that the petitioner is 70 years old and has health conditions. He had also been placed under house arrest without any incidents. Issue notice. Liberty to serve the standing counsel. Matter to come up day after," the bench stated in its order.
The 70-year-old activist has 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.
During the hearing as the bench enquired about the nature of the crime for which Navlakha has been arrested, his counsel apprised the court that there are allegations about the commission of offences covered under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, but none of those is made out against him.
Navlakha can be put under house arrest in Mumbai, where his two sisters live, or in Delhi, counsel further told the bench.
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 had approached the High Court saying the Taloja prison has poor facilities, overcrowded, and his medical condition deteriorated during his incarceration there.
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.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had granted bail to 82-year-old activist P Varavara Rao in the case. (ANI)