Bombay high court: No Navlakha links to overt or covert terror acts | India News – Times of India

 Bombay high court: No Navlakha links to overt or covert terror acts | India News - Times of India

MUMBAI: No covert or clandestine terrorist acts have been held responsible. Human rights activists And journalists Gautam Nolakha Who is accused in 2018. Elgar Parishad Casesaid Bombay High Court He was granted bail on Tuesday. It added that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is relying on “hearsay” evidence to link him to the terrorist activities of a banned outfit.
At best, Nolakha can be described as a member of the banned CPI(M) party, the bail order available on Wednesday said.
He also said that he deserves bail on par as six other persons have also received similar relief in the same case. However, the order has been stayed for three weeks to allow the NIA to challenge it in the Supreme Court.
Nolakha, who has been charge-sheeted under the Anti-Terrorism Act – Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act – is being probed by the NIA along with 15 others (one has died) in the case. No specific acts of terrorism are attributed to him under Section 15 of the UAPA. At best, less serious charges such as sections 13 (unlawful activities) and 38 (membership of a terrorist organization) could apply, the High Court said.
There is nothing on record in the prosecution documents to show that charges under Sections 16 (for committing terrorist act), 17 (raising funds for terrorist act), 18 (conspiracy) and 39 have been framed against Nolakha. There are reasonable grounds to believe that a terrorist organisation) is prima facie true, said a high court division bench of Justices Ajay Gadkari and SG Dej.
The high court also noted the lengthy legal process, saying that framing of charges by a special NIA trial court in Mumbai – a final pre-trial step – would take more than a year. “The prospect of the appellant’s trial being completed in the near future is very bleak,” the court added.
Nolakha has been in jail for three years and eight months since April 2020. The trial will be conducted on the charge sheet presented by the NIA, which will contain around 20,000 pages citing 370 witnesses.
Nolakha has been under house arrest in Navi Mumbai since last November when the Supreme Court granted his bail plea citing health reasons. Additional Solicitor General Devang Vyas, arguing for the NIA in the High Court, had said, “behind the commission of the present crime must be considered a larger conspiracy to overthrow the democratically elected government” given Nolakha’s role.
The NIA cited a letter from one of the co-accused, poet and writer P Varavara Rao, asking CPI(M) colleagues to “survey” places where politically influential people hang out. Public meetings should be held. Prosecutors said Rao used the word “enemy” to refer to law enforcement agencies or individuals representing the elected government. The NIA said their instructions were mainly to “target politically influential persons.”
However, the High Court judgment said that the NIA was relying on “hearsay” evidence in the form of documents and communications recovered from co-accused where Nolakha’s name was linked to the activities of a designated terrorist organization. is mentioned to establish the affinity. “The actual involvement of (Nulkha) in any terrorist act cannot be inferred from any communication or even from (witness) statements,” the high court bench said.

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