The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a petition by the National Investigation Agency, challenging a Bombay High Court order on her bail.
Sudha Bharadwaj, a lawyer and activist who was arrested in the Koregaon-Bhima case in 2018, is expected to be released this evening after serving three years in prison.
This comes a day after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the Bombay High Court’s decision on her bail. “We see no reason to overturn the high court’s decision. The case was dismissed “Her release was cleared by a bench of Justices UU Lalit, SR Bhat, and Bela M Trivedi.
The 60-year-old activist will have to submit her passport and stay in Mumbai as part of her bail conditions, according to a special NIA court.
She is not allowed to speak to the media about the case, according to the special court, and she could be released on a provisional cash bail of $50,000.
Ms Bharadwaj was granted default bail by the Bombay High Court on December 1, but the NIA court was asked to set the bail conditions.
She is the first of 16 activists and academics arrested in the case to be released on bail by default.
She was arrested on August 28, 2018, and was placed under house arrest shortly after. On October 27, 2018, she was arrested and taken into custody.
The case was filed in response to allegedly inflammatory speeches made on December 31, 2017 at the Elgar Parishad conclave.
The speeches, according to police, sparked violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial on the city’s outskirts. Maoists were said to be supporting the conclave. The case was later handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) by the Pune Police.
The Maharashtra government challenged her bail in the Bombay High Court in July.
Sudha Bharadwaj has been involved in the Chhattisgarh trade union movement for over 25 years. She is the general secretary of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) in Chhattisgarh and a member of Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS).
Her petition to visit Chhattisgarh was denied today by the anti-terror agency.
Stan Swamy, an 84-year-old priest-activist who was also arrested under the anti-terror law UAPA in the Elgar Parishad case last year, died in July while fighting for bail on health grounds.
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