Elgar Parishad accused Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira granted bail by SC | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Elgar Parishad accused Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira granted bail by Supreme Court

Jul 28, 2023 02:21 PM IST

The Supreme Court granted bail to Elgar Parishad accused Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira considering their long incarceration since August 2018.

The Supreme Court on Friday granted bail to Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad accused Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira considering their long incarceration since August 2018. They faced charges under stringent UAPA for their alleged Maoist links.

Activist Vernon Gonsalves.(PTI)
Activist Vernon Gonsalves.(PTI)

A bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Sudhanshu Dhulia imposed strict conditions of bail which require them to use one mobile, whose location is accessible to the investigating officer 24X7 and they will not be permitted to leave Maharashtra without permission of the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court.

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The court said Gonsalves and Ferreira shall surrender their passports to the police.

“Allegations are serious but that does not mean bail cannot be granted. While forming our opinion of granting bail, we noted that he was earlier convicted of offences under 1967 Act. Hence, we propose to impose appropriate conditions while on bail. We set aside impugned order and release the appellant on bail,” Bar and Bench quoted the court as saying.

The activists had moved the top court against a Bombay high court order rejecting their bail pleas. The case pertains to the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which according to the Pune police was funded by Maoists.

The inflammatory speeches made there led to violence at the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial in Pune the next day, police had alleged.

In May last year, the accused in the case, including Gonsalves and Ferreira, filed pleas before the Supreme Court against the Bombay High Court's December 2021 judgment refusing them default bail.

The accused contended that there was an error in the judgment and, consequently, prayed that they be granted bail.

Lawyer Vernon Gonsalves is among the activists, lawyers, poets and scholars arrested by NIA in connection with alleged inflammatory speeches made at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017. This, the police claimed, triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon Bhima war memorial located on the outskirts of the western Maharashtra city, leading to the death of one person and injuries to several others. The NIA claims the accused have Maoist links and indulged in anti-national activities.

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