SC grants two-week interim bail to Bhima Koregaon accused Mahesh Raut | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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SC grants two-week interim bail to Bhima Koregaon accused Mahesh Raut

ByAbraham Thomas
Jun 21, 2024 04:43 PM IST

Raut was arrested in June 2018 in connection with the violence that took place at Bhima Koregaon in Maharashtra on January 1, 2018 in which one person was killed

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday granted interim bail for two weeks to 2018 Bhima Koregaon violence accused Mahesh Raut to attend rituals of his deceased grandmother and allowed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to seek stringent bail conditions before the trial court to ensure he does not misuse his liberty.

Raut had approached the top court against a June 5 order passed by the NIA special court in Mumbai denying interim bail (Representative Photo)
Raut had approached the top court against a June 5 order passed by the NIA special court in Mumbai denying interim bail (Representative Photo)

A vacation bench of justices Vikram Nath and SVN Bhatti directed the bail to commence from June 26 as two rituals were scheduled to be held by June end and in the first week of July. Raut was told to surrender on July 10. 

Hearing an application filed by Raut, the top court said, “Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, the period of incarceration undergone by the applicant and the nature of the request made, we are inclined to grant interim bail of two weeks commencing from June 26 and ending on July 10.” The terms and conditions of his release will be determined by the trial court, the bench added. 

Raut had approached the top court against a June 5 order passed by the NIA special court in Mumbai denying interim bail noting that the case is being reviewed by the top court.

Advocate Aparna Bhatt appearing for Raut submitted that the applicant’s grandmother died on May 26, and two ceremonies are to be held – one on June 29 and 30 and another on July 5 and 6. 

The application by Raut said, “At this difficult time if the applicant is denied permission to be a part of her (grandmother’s) mourning rituals, it will have a severe adverse impact on his physical and mental wellbeing.” 

The NIA represented by advocate Annam Venkatesh told the court that the charges against Raut are serious. “Due to the stay granted by this court on your petition, are you expecting any high court or trial court to pass an order? This court will haul them up. They have rightly approached this court,” the Supreme Court bench told NIA. 

Venkatesh argued that since the rituals are to end by July 6, he should not be granted bail for two weeks, as requested in his application. 

The bench remarked, “We are balancing competing concerns by passing this order. You (NIA) can approach the trial court and insist upon conditions to ensure liberty granted to the applicant is not misused.”

In its order, the bench addressed the concern saying, “The NIA will be at liberty to request the trial court to impose such stringent conditions as may be necessary.” The court clarified that the applicant should surrender on July 10. 

Raut, a social activist, was arrested in June 2018 in connection with the violence that took place at Bhima Koregaon in Maharashtra on January 1, 2018, in which one person was killed.

The NIA has charged him with offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), alleging that Raut was one of the persons linked with the violence instigated at the instance of the banned terror outfit – Communist Party of India (Maoist).

He was granted bail by the Bombay High Court on September 21 last year but the stay on the bail order was extended by the Supreme Court on an appeal filed by the NIA. Raut is currently lodged at Taloja jail, Maharashtra. 

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