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Unable to Establish a Case on Human Rights Activists, SC Put Stay on their Transit Remand Order

After Gautam Navlakha was arrested from his Delhi residence by the Maharashtra Police in connection with a violence at Bhima-Koregaon village that allegedly took place as a follow-out of an event Elgaar Parishad held on December 31, 2017. Supreme Court put a stay on the transit remand order of Navlakha after hearing his pleas and put all the Human Rights activists under House Arrest till September 6, 2018.

In the present Case, where the house arrest order of five activists was ordered by the Supreme Court namely Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj, Arun Fereira, Gautam Navlakha and Vernon Gonsalves, in which the Delhi High Court has stated that it would also go through the Habeas Corpus Writ Petition filed by the rights activist, Navlakha and it will examine the legality of the remand order passed by the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate. 

In the present matter, the petitioner was not even aware of the allegations that were made against him and the ground of his arrest.   Interestingly, the documents were also in different language Marathi. The matter was placed before the Bench of Justice S. Murlidhar and  Justice Vinod Goel. The matter was represented by the lawyer of  Gautam Navlakha, Nithya Ramakrishnan. Further, the matter was adjourned and Aman Lekhi, Additional Solicitor General who was representing for the State of Maharashtra, was asked to provide with the translated copies of the documents which were earlier submitted in Marathi.

The matter took a higher pitch, when the Maharashtra Police arrested Navlakha from his house on Tuesday and wanted to take him to Pune alleging his connection in the violence that took place in the Koregaon- Bhima village in the event of ‘Elgaar Parishad’ that was held earlier on 31st December 2017. 

Keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case, the arrest of Navlakha was secured by the Saket Courts. Also, the High Court was of the view that he should not be taken away from Delhi until the matter was heard by them. 
Navlakha is the member of the Peoples Union for Democratic Rights and also a Journalist.  The claims made by him in his petitions were that the language used in the documents and FIR was Marathi, which is not understood by him. Further, there was no compliance of Section 165 and 166 of the CrPC.

According to the statements made by Navlakha, he did not attend the cultural meeting that took place and the officers who have conducted the search have added provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967 in the search warrant on their own. 
He claimed that this kind of attitude is completely against and assault of the liberals, and the liberal thinking. He also claimed that such an act is a violation of his fundamental as well as Human rights.

Justice Muralidhar also pointed out that there is no as such an exception where the person should not be told about the grounds of his arrest. It is a right of a person to know why he is arrested and what are the allegations that are made against him. To such a statement, the ASG answered that “There is nothing to hide and the offence stands committed and it was duly communicated to him.” 

Hence, raising questions on the act of Magistrate that granted remand order, the Bench stated that it would also examine the legality of the whole petition that also includes the petition and the order of the Metropolitan Magistrate. The matter has now been listed for today, that is 30th August at 2:15 PM by which it will also receive the order from the Supreme Court. Till then, the court has recorded the ASG’s statement and has declined to proceed further. 


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Reviewed by:
Jyoti Yadav
Published on 30-Aug-18

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