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The Legal Battle of Bhima Koregaon: The story so far

The Legal Battle of Bhima Koregaon: The story so far

Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi

The Special NIA Court has listed the pending applications on September 6, 2021
On July 5, 2021, 83-year-old activist and priest Father Stan Swamy passed away in a Mumbai private hospital while in judicial custody for his alleged involvement in the riots that took place in Bhima Koregaon post the Elgar Parishad event held on January 2018.
His death highlighted the state of undertrials in the Bhima Koregaon case, most of whom have been awaiting trial for the past three years.
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Bombay High Court Reserves Order On Default Bail Plea Of Eight Accused In Bhima Koregaon

Bombay High Court Reserves Order On Default Bail Plea Of Eight Accused In Bhima Koregaon

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Bombay High Court Reserves Order On Default Bail Plea Of Eight Accused In Bhima Koregaon

02/09/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday reserved for orders a petition filed by eight accused in the Bhima Koregaon – Elgar Parishad caste violence case challenging cognisance of the charge sheet by a sessions judge in Pune and seeking default bail.
The accused have filed the appeal against the Sessions court’s order rejecting the default bail application under Section 167(2) of the Code of of Criminal Procedure read with Section 43-D (2) of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
… The HC is likely to pronounce its judgement along a similar plea made co-accused Sudha Bharadwaj, on which order was reserved on August 4.
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HC reserves order on plea by eight accused

01/09/2021

Hindustan Times / by KAY Dodhiya

The Bombay high court reserved its orders in the petition filed by the eight Elgar Parishad accused who challenged the cognizance taken by the sessions judge of the charge sheet filed by Pune Police in November 2018.
The counsel for the accused argued that as the sessions judge had passed orders and not the special NIA court or a magistrate court as stipulated by the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) under which the accused were booked, the orders passed by the sessions judge were not valid and they were eligible for default bail.
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Bombay HC reserves verdict in plea by 8 accused challenging cognizance taken by Pune Sessions Judge

01/09/2021

Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi

The eight accused who have moved the Court are Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, P Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira.
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday reserved its verdict in the plea filed by eight of sixteen accused in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon case challenging the decision of the Pune Sessions Judge to take cognizance of chargesheet against them.
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Also read:
8 accused move Bombay HC; claim chargesheet filed in haste only to defeat their right of bail (Bar & Bench, Aug 23)
Is Cognizance By Pune Sessions Court In Bhima Koregaon Case Void? Bombay High Court Reserves Judgment In Sudha Bharadwaj’s Plea For Default Bail (Live Law, Aug 4)

10 prisoners accuse ex-jail superintendent of ‘political censorship’

10 prisoners accuse ex-jail superintendent of ‘political censorship’

Prisoners accuse ex-jail superintendent of ‘political censorship’

27/08/2021

Sabrang / by Sabrangindia

The former Taloja Jail Superintendent Kaustubh Kurlekar has been allegedly saving copies of the letter exchanged between the accused and their family and lawyers
Ten activists, who have been falsely implicated in the Bhima Koregaon violence case, have written to the Home Minister of Maharashtra, alleging that Taloja Central Jail’s former Superintendent Kaustubh Kurlekar has been taking scans and saving copies of the letters exchanged between them and their family and advocates.
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10 Elgaar Parishad accused allege ‘political censorship’ by jail authorities

27/08/2021

The Hindu / by Sonam Saigal

Kaustubh Kurlekar of Taloja jail scans and saves letters, they have said in a letter to State Home Minister
Ten accused in the Elgar Parishad case have written a letter to Home Minister of Maharashtra on Thursday alleging that Taloja Central Jail’s Superintendent Kaustubh Kurlekar scans and saves copies of letters written by them to their family and advocates.
The letter written on Thursday has been signed by Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navlakha, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Mahesh Raut, Sudhir Dhawale, Surendra Gadling, Rona Wilson, Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor.
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8 accused move Bombay HC; claim chargesheet filed in haste only to defeat their right of bail

8 accused move Bombay HC; claim chargesheet filed in haste only to defeat their right of bail

Sessions court had no power to take cognisance of pleas: Accused in Elgar Parishad case seek default bail

24/08/2021

The Indian Express / by Express News Service

The lawyer for the accused submitted that as the orders of remand, authorising custody were ‘illegally’ passed by the sessions judge and the same could not be sustained, they may be released on default bail.
Eight accused in the Elgar Parishad case, while challenging the September 2019 order of the Pune Sessions court rejecting their default bail pleas, told the Bombay High Court that persons booked for scheduled offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) had to be produced before special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court and the sessions judge had no power to take cognisance of their pleas.
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8 accused move Bombay HC; claim chargesheet filed in haste only to defeat their right of bail

23/08/2021

Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi

The eight accused who have moved the Court are Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, P Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira.
Eight accused in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon case have moved the Bombay High Court challenging the decision of the Pune Sessions Judge to take cognizance of chargesheet against them and to quash the criminal proceedings (Sudhir Dhawale & Ors. v. State of Maharashtra & Ors.).
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Also read: Is Cognizance By Pune Sessions Court In Bhima Koregaon Case Void? Bombay High Court Reserves Judgment In Sudha Bharadwaj’s Plea For Default Bail (Live Law, Aug 4)

Mary Lawlor: Inhumane prison conditions for Bhima Koregaon Human Rights Defenders

Mary Lawlor: Inhumane prison conditions for Bhima Koregaon Human Rights Defenders

By Mary Lawlor, UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders

On 11 June 2021, I wrote a letter jointly with two other UN experts on the alleged inhumane prison conditions and deteriorating condition of 15 human rights defenders, as well as Varavara Rao who was granted medical bail.
Of pressing concern was the inhumane prison conditions and deteriorating health of the human rights defenders. The death of Fr. Stan Swamy shortly after this communication was written demonstrate the severity of the conditions in which the human rights defenders are being held. It is haunting to now read how Fr. Swamy’s requests to be transferred to hospital to receive treatment were initially denied repeatedly.
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Video: Justice for Mahesh Raut / New website launched: Justice for Mahesh

Video: Justice for Mahesh Raut / New website launched: Justice for Mahesh


hindi │ 1h 17min │2021

Video: Justice for Mahesh Raut

08/08/2021

By family and friends of Mahesh

Our friend Mahesh, is spending his fourth year in jail. Without trial! Who is Mahesh though? Why is his story important? And why is he a threat to the powers that are?
Join us for an evening where we will discuss all this and more. Friends, family, colleagues and journalists will talk about Mahesh and why he is still in jail.
We will also be launching a website which documents much of Mahesh’s story through this event.
We miss our friend and we really hope we will see #JusticeForMahesh very soon!
Watch video
Twitter: @justice4mahesh

New website launched: Justice for Mahesh


Visit Justice for Mahesh website

Bombay High Court Refuses To Stay Prison Transfer Order Of Bhima Koregaon Accused

Bombay High Court Refuses To Stay Prison Transfer Order Of Bhima Koregaon Accused

Bombay High Court Refuses To Stay Prison Transfer Order Of Bhima Koregaon Accused

06/08/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

The Bombay High Court on Friday observed that the accused in the Bhima Koregaon – Elgar Parishad Case resisting their transfer out of Taloja Prison, despite repeatedly complaining about the prison authorities there, is confusing and paradoxical.
The bench refused to stay the transfer orders without hearing the State and adjourned the matter to Wednesday after the State sought time.
The court was seized with one plea filed by the kin of accused Dalit scholar Anand Teltumbde, civil rights lawyer Surendra Gadling and activist Sudhir Dhawale’s friend. Tribal rights activist Mahesh Raut has filed the second plea.
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Victimized For Demanding Their Rights as Prisoners: Kin of Bhima Koregaon Move Bombay High Court Against Prison Transfer Orders

03/08/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

The petition accuses Taloja’s previous Superintendent of initiating the transfers to cover up violations of the rights guaranteed under The Prisons Act, 1894
Kin of three accused in the Bhima Koregaon – Elgar Parishad Case have approached the Bombay High Court challenging three orders to transfer ten accused out of Taloja Central Prison to any other prison in Maharashtra.
The petition states that Special NIA Judge DE Kothalikar’s orders, repeatedly permitting their transfers without issuing a notice, giving a hearing to them or recording reasons, violates principles of natural justice.
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Kin of Surendra Galding, Anand Teltumbde, Sudhir Dhawale move Bombay HC challenging transfer from Taloja jail

03/08/2021

Bar & Benach / by Neha Joshi

Immediate family members of Dr. Anand Teltumbde, Surendra Gadling and Sudhir Dhawale, accused in the Bhima Koregaon case of 2018, have approached the Bombay High Court challenging the decision to transfer them out of Taloja Central Prison to any other “unspecified prison” in the State.
The petitioners said the Superintendent was attempting to transfer the accused, by dividing them and sending them to separate jails and it was “an act of victimization for having demanded their rights as prisoners.
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NIA opposes default bail pleas of eight accused

NIA opposes default bail pleas of eight accused

NIA opposes default bail pleas of eight accused

25/07/2021

The Indian Express / by Express News Service

A division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice N J Jamadar was hearing the plea filed by Sudhir Dhawale, Mahesh Raut, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Rona Wilson, Shoma Sen, Surendra Gadling and Varavara Rao.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday opposed the plea filed by eight accused in the Elgaar Parishad case challenging the June 2019 order of the Pune sessions court rejecting their default bail pleas.
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May Be An Irregularity, Not An Illegality: Maharashtra Govt On Special NIA Court Not Taking Cognizance Of Case

23/07/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

The Maharashtra Government and the National Investigation Agency on Friday continued their arguments opposing Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad accused Sudha Bharadwaj’s default bail application.
The State submitted that in her entire petition Bharadwaj hasn’t averred at a single place that she was “denied justice” because a sessions court, and not a special court under the NIA Act, took cognisance of the chargesheet against her and and other accused on February 21, 2019.
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If Court is not empowered to take cognizance, does not mean proceedings can be set aside: NIA to Bombay High Court

23/07/2021

Bar & Bench / by Neha Joshi

An affidavit stating the same was filed before the High Court in the petition filed by eight accused in the Bhima Koregaon case challenging the order refusing bail.
Merely because a court is not empowered by law to take cognizance and yet does so in good faith does not mean that the proceedings should be set aside on that ground alone, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) submitted before the Bombay High Court in the Bhima Koregaon case.
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The 16 activists arrested in relation to the Bhima Koregaon case are victims of witch-hunt

The 16 activists arrested in relation to the Bhima Koregaon case are victims of witch-hunt

Frontline / by Anupama Katakam

The arrests and incarceration of 16 activists, known as the BK-16, on specious charges relating to the Bhima Koregaon violence case is part of the Central government’s systematic and methodical targeting of people who dissent and fight against oppression and for the causes of sections of society that a majoritarian government has no space for …
A look at the profile of each victim clearly indicates why the current regime feels threatened by their work.
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Cognizance Of Chargesheet Vitiated As Pune Judge Wasn’t Special Judge Under NIA Act? / 8 Accused Seek Bail

Cognizance Of Chargesheet Vitiated As Pune Judge Wasn’t Special Judge Under NIA Act? / 8 Accused Seek Bail

By LawBeat (July 15):
BombayHighCourt bench led by Justice SS Shinde to hear Lawyer-Activist Sudha Bharadwaj, accused in the #BhimaKoregaon – #ElgaParishad case seeking default bail contending that the trial judge was not authorised to take cognisance of the 2019 charge sheet against her.


Produce papers showing Pune judge was competent to pass orders, HC tells Maharashtra

08/07/2021

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

In a petition seeking default bail, activist Sudha Bharadwaj said that Sessions Judge KD Vadane was an additional judge and not a designated special judge.
The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the Maharashtra government to produce documents to show that the judge who granted an extension to the Pune Police to file the chargesheet in the Bhima Koregaon violence case and took cognisance of it was authorised to do so, PTI reported.
… The court posted the matter for next hearing on July 15.
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Cognizance Of Bhima Koregaon Chargesheet Vitiated As Pune Judge Wasn’t Special Judge Under NIA Act? Bombay High Court To Examine

08/07/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

The Bombay High Court on Monday said that the Court’s records were consistent with lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj’s RTI replies, according to which Additional Sessions Judge (Pune) Kishore Vadane was not appointed as a Special Judge under the NIA Act in 2018/2019.
“Record is the same as you had annexed under RTI,” Justice SS Shinde heading the division bench said at the beginning of the hearing.
The court also asked the State if it had anything additional to show that the judge was assigned the case back then.
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Judge who extended chargesheet deadline not special judge under NIA Act, reveals Sudha Bharadwaj’s lawyer

06/07/2021

The Free Press Journal / by Staff Reporter

Trade unionist, human rights lawyer and activist Sudha Bharadwaj through her advocate Yug Chaudhry claimed that the special judge, who extended the time to file chargesheet into the Bhima Koregaon violence case, and also took cognisance of the chargesheet, was not a special judge under the National Investigation Agency Act.
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Sudha Bharadwaj’s Bail Plea: Bombay High Court To Verify If Pune Sessions Judge Was Competent To Take Cognizance Of Chargesheet

06/07/2021

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim

The Bombay High Court said it would verify with the Registry if Additional Sessions Judge Kishor Vadane was a Special Judge under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act in 2018/2019 and if he was authorised to take cognisance of the Pune police’s charge sheet against the accused in the Bhima Koregaon Elgar – Parishad Case.
A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar heard Bharadwaj’s plea seeking bail in default Under Sections 439, 482 and section 167(2)(a)(i) of the Criminal Procedure Code read with section 43 D(2)of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. She has challenged two orders of Judge KD Vadane.
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8 accused in Bhima Koregaon seek bail as judge who rejected bail was not authorised

06/07/2021

The Hindu / by Sonam Saigal

Eight accused in the Bhima Koregaon caste violence case moved the Bombay High Court on Tuesday seeking bail on the ground that the special judge at Pune who rejected their default bail was not authorised to do so. Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira filed the petition through advocate R. Sathyanarayanan.
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Also read: Bombay High Court Seeks Reply On Sudha Bharadwaj’s Plea For Default Bail In Bhima Koregaon Case (Live Law, June 2021)