New Delhi, November 18
The Supreme Court on Friday rejected the NIA’s appeal against the transfer of the case of the link between Elgar Parishad and Maoist accused Gautam Navlakha from prison to house arrest, although it ordered some additional safeguards, including installation of more CCTV cameras.
A bench headed by Judge KM Joseph, who on November 10 authorized the house arrest of Navlakha (70) for health reasons and later waived the requirement for a credit certificate for he be transferred from Taloja Jail to Navi Mumbai, said his order was to be implemented within 24 hours.
“The November 10 order will come into effect within 24 hours from the date of receipt of a copy of this order,” said the panel, which also included Judge Hrishikesh Roy.
“Don’t introduce conditions to say that with your full police force, you can’t monitor a sick 70-year-old man,” the bench noted.
The NIA had objected to the fact that the premises where Navlakha wanted to be guarded while under house arrest belonged to the Communist Party of India. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and Additional Solicitor General SV Raju alleged that the defendant deliberately concealed material facts which amounted to an abuse of court process. They also alleged bias in the medical report on which the court order ordering Navlakha’s house arrest was based.
“The Communist Party is a recognized party of India. What is the solution?” Judge Joseph asked Mehta, who said, “If that doesn’t shock you, then what can I say?”
Making clear that this did not shock the higher court, the bench added some additional safeguards suggested by the investigative agency and said the order must be implemented within 24 hours.
On behalf of Navlakha, lead attorney Nitya Ramakrishnan argued that despite the Supreme Court’s Nov. 10 order, the defendant was not placed under house arrest.
In its order of November 10, the high court had declared: “The applicant will not use a computer, the Internet or any other communication device while under house arrest. He will, however, be allowed to use a cell phone without internet, provided by police personnel on duty, once a day for 10 minutes in the presence of law enforcement. On Friday, the bench reiterated that there would be a strict ban on internet use and that if there was a violation of the condition, the NIA could approach it again. —TNS
install more surveillance camera
- The NIA had opposed the house arrest saying that the premises where he wanted to be held belonged to the CPI
- The High Court orders some additional safeguards, including the installation of more CCTV cameras
What the bench said
- “Don’t say that with your full police force you can’t watch over a sick septuagenarian.”
#Gautam Navlakha #supreme court