In a new development in the Bhima Koregaon case, Gautam Navlakha has moved Delhi High seeking interim bail on medical grounds. Gautam Navlakha who is currently under probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has stated that he is at a high risk of encountering the COVID-19 virus due to his underlying health issues which could lead to comorbidity.
His petition states, "The applicant is a senior citizen suffering from Colonic Polyposis, Chronic Gastritis and lactose intolerance, which can be controlled only through timely and regular medication and a very controlled diet" adding that he has recently been diagnosed with high blood pressure by the doctor at Safdarjung Hospital, which increases the risk of his morbidity
Navlakha who is currently residing in Tihar Jail, had last month, surrendered before the NIA in Delhi after the completion of the bail period granted by the Supreme Court.
Back in March, the Supreme Court had denied anticipatory bail to him and Anand Teltumbde and had given them three weeks to surrender themselves and asked them to surrender their passports immediately. The Bombay High Court also on February 15 rejected their pleas seeking protection from arrest. The HC had in its order said that 'prima facie there is material against applicants to show complicity in the crime.'
During the investigation of the case, the agency has also alleged that Navlakha and Teltumbde have Maoist links. Earlier, the top court had rejected their pleas seeking quashing of FIRs registered against them. They were first arrested in the case related to violence at the Bhima Koregaon in Pune on January 1, 2018.
In January 2018, the Pune Police lodged an FIR against Navlakha and others after the Elgar Parishad held on December 31, 2017, that had allegedly triggered violence at Koregaon Bhima in Pune district the next day. Gautam Navlakha and the four others were accused have booked under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and Sections 121, 121(a) and 124 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) amounting to sedition, waging a war against the State, and conspiring to commit certain offences against the State.