Supreme Court asks activist Gautam Navlakha to pay security costs for his house arrest | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Supreme Court asks activist Gautam Navlakha to pay security costs for his house arrest

By, New Delhi
Apr 10, 2024 04:55 AM IST

Advocate Shadan Farasat, representing Navlakha, expressed readiness to pay but contested the figures

The Supreme Court on Tuesday observed that activist Gautam Navlakha, who is facing charges under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act in connection with the 2018 Bhima Koregaon violence case, cannot evade his responsibility to pay security costs for his house arrest because the facility was made available at his request.

Supreme Court said Navlakha must pay some amount as the order of house arrest was passed upon his plea and an assurance to pay for the security fees associated with his house arrest (HT)
Supreme Court said Navlakha must pay some amount as the order of house arrest was passed upon his plea and an assurance to pay for the security fees associated with his house arrest (HT)

“If you have asked for it (house arrest), you have to pay (the costs for security cover). You cannot escape your liability...You can’t escape your liability because it was only on your asking that this order was passed,” a bench of justices MM Sundresh and SVN Bhatti told Navlakha’s lawyer.

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It added that Navlakha must pay some amount as the order of house arrest was passed upon his plea and an assurance to pay for the security fees associated with his house arrest.

Read here: SC extends stay on bail granted to Gautam Navlakha in Bhima-Koregaon case

The court was responding to additional solicitor general (ASG) SV Raju’s submissions that Navlakha owed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) approximately 1.64 crore for the round-the-clock security expenses maintained by the Maharastra police.

Advocate Shadan Farasat, representing Navlakha, expressed readiness to pay but contested the figures.

Intervening, the bench stressed the need for cooperation between the parties. “As long as you are going to have this facility, these figures will continue to fly. Instead of letting it reach the highest level, we will give one week’s time to both sides. Whatever allegations you both have to say, say it then we will decide,” it said, deferring the matter to April 23.

The court was hearing NIA’s appeal against the Bombay high court’s decision to grant bail to Navlakha, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon riot case of 2018. The Bhima Koregaon case concerns alleged provocative remarks made on December 31, 2017, at an Elgar Parishad conference in Pune. According to the Maharashtra police, these remarks caused unrest the next day outside the Bhima Koregaon war memorial, which is on the outskirts of the city in western Maharashtra. In the incident, one person lost his life.

Navlakha, a human rights activist and former Secretary of the People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR), was initially arrested in August 2018. He was initially kept under house arrest but subsequently sent to judicial custody in Taloja Central Prison in April 2020 after a Supreme Court order. He was later placed under house arrest again in November 2022 after the Supreme Court approved his plea, citing his advanced age. He has remained under house arrest in Navi Mumbai since. His plea regarding the terms of his house arrest is being heard concurrently with the bail matter.

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