Edgar Parishad case: Sudha Bharadwaj released after serving for 3 years in prison

Sudha Bharadwaj, a lawyer and activist who was one of 16 persons imprisoned in the Elgar Parishad case, was released this morning after serving more than three years in prison.

The National Investigation Agency’s request to stay the default bail granted to her by the Bombay High Court on December 1 was denied by the Supreme Court two days ago. “We find no basis to overturn the High Court’s decision. The case was dismissed “Her release had been cleared by a court of Justices UU Lalit, SR Bhat, and Bela M Trivedi.

Ms Bharadwaj was released from the Byculla women’s prison yesterday after an NIA court imposed bail terms. She is the first person in the case to be granted default bail.

The matter was initially handled by the Pune Police before being handed over to the NIA. When the state police were investigating the case, she was held at the Yerwada prison in Pune, but after the NIA took over, she was transferred to the Byculla women’s prison. The case has yet to be heard in court.

A special NIA court ordered the 60-year-old campaigner to surrender her passport and stay in Mumbai as part of her bail conditions. To exit the city borders, she must obtain court authorization.

According to the special court, Ms Bharadwaj is not allowed to speak to the media about the case. Her lawyer, Yug Mohit Chaudhry, had objected to the requirement, claiming that it was an infringement of her right to free expression. She was released on a Rs 50,000 cash bond and instructed to report to the nearest police station.

She has also been told not to communicate with her co-accused in the case and not to make any overseas phone calls.

On August 28, 2018, Ms Bharadwaj was detained and placed under house arrest. On October 27, 2018, she was arrested and brought into jail.

The case was launched in response to allegedly incendiary comments made on December 31, 2017 at the Elgar Parishad convocation.

The speeches, according to authorities, sparked unrest the next day at the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial on the city’s outskirts. The conclave was also said to be backed by Maoists, according to the police.

Ms Bharadwaj was granted bail by the Bombay High Court after she argued that Pune additional sessions judge K.D. Vadane, who had taken cognizance of the police charge sheet in the case filed in 2019, was not authorized to do so because his court had not been notified.

In August of last year, the Bombay High Court refused her application for temporary relief on medical grounds, claiming that she had comorbidities like diabetes and hypertension, putting her at a higher risk of catching Covid while at the prison, where an inmate had tested positive at the time.

Stan Swamy, an 84-year-old priest-activist who was also jailed under the anti-terror code UAPA in the Elgar Parishad case last year, died in July while fighting for bail on health grounds.

Varavara Rao, a political activist and poet charged in the case, was given bail on medical grounds earlier this year.

Eight other accused – Sudhir Dawale, Varavara Rao, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, Vernon Gonsalves, and Arun Ferreira – had also applied for bail on similar grounds, but the High Court had rejected their applications, stating that they were not filed on time and thus could not be considered.

The People’s Union for Civil Liberties applauded Sudha Bharadwaj’s default bail and stated that it “sees it as a positive step forward.” “as a vindication of the PUCL’s and other affiliated groups’ protracted struggle against the UAPA It reflects a movement in public opinion and judicial thinking toward admitting the UAPA as an illegitimate and undemocratic weapon for suppressing any position that the government deems to be objectionable.” The organization’s “ultimate purpose,” according to PUCL General Secretary Dr. V. Suresh, is to repeal the contentious anti-terror law UAPA and free all those who have been “unjustly imprisoned” under it. The civil rights organization is also calling for the prosecution of all 16 defendants in the Bhima Koregaon case to be dropped.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button