Elgar Parishad case: Sudha Bharadwaj moves Bombay HC, seeks default bail
Activist Sudha Bharadwaj, an accused in the Elgar Parishad case, has filed an application before the Bombay high court (HC) seeking default bail on the grounds that Pune Police had failed to file a charge sheet against her in the stipulated period of 90 days of her arrest.
However, the application, which came up for hearing on Friday, was deferred after Bharadwaj’s counsel contended that as the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had taken over the investigation as per the NIA Act, the application should be heard by a two-judge bench, to which the court agreed and asked the registry to place the same before a division bench.
When Bharadwaj’s application came up for hearing before the single judge bench of justice Sarang Kotwal, her counsel, advocate Dr Yug Choudhry, informed the court that the application had been filed as there was a delay in filing the charge sheet and hence, she was eligible for default bail as per the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
Dr Choudhry, however, submitted that as NIA had taken over the investigation last January, as per section 21 (2) of the NIA Act, all applications and appeals pertaining to its investigation should be heard by a division bench of HC and hence, the single bench could not hear the application.
After NIA sought time to respond to the application, justice Kotwal agreed with Dr Choudhry’s contention and directed the registry to place the application before the appropriate division bench.
Last month, Bharadwaj’s daughter Maaysha had filed a petition seeking treatment for her mother and bail on medical grounds. However, after Bharadwaj was provided treatment, the petition had been disposed of.