BREAKING: Supreme Court orders release of Gautam Navlakha on bail after he deposits INR 20 lakhs as house arrest expenses

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Court has further directed Navlakha to attend the trial court proceeding on each date

A division bench of the Supreme Court on Tuesday has set aside the stay granted on Bombay High Court's order allowing bail to Gautam Navlakha, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon incident.

While doing so, a bench of Justices MM Sundresh and SVN Bhatti has asked Navlakha to pay INR 20 lakhs towards the expenses incurred by National Investigation Agency (NIA) for the security provided to him during his house arrest.

Court noted that he had been incarcerated for four years and the trial would take years to complete as more than 370 witnesses were to be examined.

Additional Solicitor General SV Raju opposed the Navlakha's release stating, "He is anti-national, he was asking for separation of Kashmir from India..".

Earlier court had told Navlakha that he should pay ₹ 1.64 crore to NIA due towards expenses for the security provided to him during his house arrest as he had asked for house arrest owing to his health condition.

In December last year, the Bombay High Court had granted bail to the Bhima Koregaon accused but had stayed the order on the NIA's request to file an appeal before the Supreme Court.

This stay order has been extended by the top court till now.

Way before Navlakha was granted bail by the High Court, while hearing his application seeking to changes his address for house arrest, the Supreme Court had expressed its concerns over its original order granting him house arrest in the first place.

Court had then remarked that the order had not in fact did dealt with the merits of the overall case and proceedings against Navlakha.

Navlakha, who is accused of having Maoist links was allowed to be shifted from Taloja Central Prison due to medical ailments. He was arrested by Pune police from Delhi on August 28, 2018 in connection with the Elgar Parishad case. 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. 

Case Title: National Investigation Agency vs. Gautam Navlakha