SC seeks NIA response on shifting Gautam Navlakha to Alibaug under house arrest
The Court directed the petitioner to pay up some amount while directing him to deposit ₹8 lakh to the concerned authority in Maharashtra police before the next date of hearing
The Supreme Court on Friday sought the response of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on a plea by civil liberties activist Gautam Navlakha to be shifted under house arrest from his present location at Navi Mumbai to Alibaug.
Navlakha is facing charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for his alleged links with the banned organisation Communist Party of India (Maoist) following the probe into January 18 Bhima Koregaon violence in Maharashtra.
A bench of justices KM Joseph and BV Nagarathna posted the next hearing for May 15. The NIA informed the Court that in five months, since Navlakha was placed under house arrest on November 10, an outstanding amount of ₹66 lakh was due and payable to the Maharashtra government.
Additional solicitor general (ASG) SV Raju appearing for NIA said, “Initially, he had deposited a sum of ₹2.4 lakh. But the government has incurred a sum of ₹66 lakh. He has to clear that first.”
Hearing the argument, the bench directed Navlakha to deposit a further sum of ₹8 lakh for his round-the-clock security within two weeks.
Senior advocate Nithya Ramakrishnan who appeared for Navlakha disputed the figure claiming that for one month, Navlakha was asked to deposit ₹2.4 lakh and only five months had lapsed since then. Navlakha was allowed house arrest following medical complications at Taloja jail.
The Court directed the petitioner to pay up some amount while directing him to deposit ₹8 lakh to the concerned authority in Maharashtra police before the next date of hearing. Ramakrishnan moved an application on behalf of Navlakha to be shifted to a new location at Alibaug under house arrest.
Navlakha was arrested in April 2020 for his alleged role in instigating the Bhima-Koregaon violence in January 2018. The NIA has accused him of having links with Pakistan’s ISI and objected to his request for house arrest on several occasions citing security concerns