Elgar Parishad case: SC to hear activist Jyoti Jagtap's plea against HC order rejecting bail on Sept 21text_fields
New Delhi: The Supreme Court announced on Tuesday that it would consider a plea by activist Jyoti Jagtap, who was detained in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, on September 21. Jagtap was contesting the Bombay High Court's decision to deny her bail.
Jagtap has moved the apex court challenging the October 17, 2022 order of the high court which had refused to grant her bail, saying the National Investigation Agency's (NIA) case against her was "prima facie true" and that she was part of a "larger conspiracy" hatched by the banned outfit CPI (Maoist).
The plea came up for hearing before a bench of justices Aniruddha Bose and Sanjay Kumar.
The counsel appearing for the NIA sought two-week time and said the counter affidavit has gone for vetting.
"The counter has been sent to the NIA," the counsel said and urged the court to list the matter after two weeks.
Advocate Aparna Bhat, representing the petitioner, told the bench that the top court should fix a date for hearing the matter as Jagtap is in custody for about three years.
"Leave granted. List on September 21. Let the respondent file an additional affidavit incorporating therein the entire pleadings of the high court," the bench said, adding, the affidavit be filed by September 14.
The apex court observed there was a "kind of formula" on which it had earlier decided the pleas of two accused and the question to be considered in this matter is whether this fits into that formula or not.
On July 28, a bench headed by Justice Bose had granted bail to activists Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, noting that they have been in custody for five years.
The top court had on May 4 sought responses from the Maharashtra government and the NIA on Jagtap's plea against the high court order.
The high court had said Jagtap was an active member of the group Kabir Kala Manch (KKM), which during its stage play at the 'Elgar Parishad' conclave on December 31, 2017, in Pune city gave not only "aggressive, but highly provocative slogans".
"We are of the considered opinion there are reasonable grounds for believing the allegations/accusations of the NIA against appellant (Jagtap) having conspired, attempted, advocated and abetted the commission of a terrorist act as prima facie true," the court had said.
According to the NIA, KKM is a front organisation of the banned terror outfit Communist Party of India (Maoist).
The high court had dismissed the appeal filed by the activist-cum-singer challenging a February 2022 order of a special court refusing her bail.
The 2017 Elgar Parishad conclave was held at Shaniwarwada, an 18th-century palace fort located in the heart of Pune city.
Jagtap, accused of singing and raising provocative slogans at the conclave along with other KKM members, was arrested in September 2020 and has been lodged at the Byculla women's prison in Mumbai since then.
According to investigators, provocative speeches that were allegedly made at the conclave triggered violence at Koregaon-Bhima on the outskirts of Pune on January 1, 2018.
With PTI inputs