NIA challenges Sudha Bharadwaj’s bail in Supreme Court

NIA challenges Sudha Bharadwaj’s bail in Supreme Court
The Bombay HC had also directed Sudha Bharadwaj to be produced before the Special NIA Court on December 8 to decide the conditions of bail.

The National Investigation Agency has moved the Supreme Court against the bail granted to prominent activist and lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj by the Bombay High Court in the Bhima Koregaon violence UAPA case.

Bharadwaj has been in jail under draconian UAPA since 2018 and was granted default bail by Bombay High Court on Wednesday.

The Bombay HC had also directed Sudha Bharadwaj to be produced before the Special NIA Court on December 8 to decide the conditions of bail.

However, the Bombay High Court rejected the bail applications of the 8 other accused Sudhir Dawale, Dr P Varavara Rao, Rona Wilson, Advocate Surendra Gadling, Professor Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira, Live Law reported.

Bharadwaj had applied for default bail on November 26, 2018. The chargesheet against her was filed on February 21, 2019.

A total of 16 people have been arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case so far. In 2018, as part of a massive crackdown on human rights defenders in India, 9 prominent activists– Sudha Bharadwaj, Shoma Sen, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Arun Ferreira, Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Vernon Gonsalves, and Varavara Rao were arrested by the Pune Police in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon case. Two years later, the crackdown on human rights defenders continues with the arrests of Gautam Navlakha, Anand Teltumbde, Hany Babu, Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor, Jyoti Jagtap, and Stan Swamy.

All are facing charges under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Varavara Rao had been granted bail on medical grounds in February.

Renowned tribal rights activist Stan Swamy, one of the accused in the case, died in custody in July after being repeatedly denied bail despite his frail health.