Bombay HC rejects default bail of eight Bhima Koregaon accused

The Bench noted that there was no case made out for review as there were no factual errors in the bail order

May 04, 2022 11:43 am | Updated May 05, 2022 12:00 am IST - MUMBAI:

The Bombay High Court. File

The Bombay High Court. File | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday rejected the petition filed by eight accused in the Bhima Koregaon caste violence case seeking default bail by challenging the Pune sessions court order taking cognisance of the chargesheet filed in the case.

A Division Bench of Justices S.S. Shinde and N.J. Jamadar was hearing a plea filed by Surendra Gadling, Varavara Rao, Sudhir Dhawale, Shoma Sen, Rona Wilson, Mahesh Raut, Vernon Gonsalves, and Arun Ferreira.

The Bench noted that there was no case made out for review as there were no factual errors in the bail order.

They all were challenging the order passed by sessions judge K.D. Wadane on September 5, 2019 rejecting their default bail pleas. They are now seeking bail on the grounds that the chargesheet was not filed before the Magistrate Court who could have committed the matter to the sessions court.

Advocate General of Maharashtra Ashutosh Kumbhakoni had said the petition was for quashing of the order by the sessions court. He said that the charge sheet was filed within the extended period of filing it, therefore the accused were not entitled to default bail.

Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh representing the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had contended it, taking cognisance that the court had no relevance for considering default bail application. He had said no other order by the sessions judge was challenged, be it the extending of the remand or transfer to the NIA, but only the order of taking cognisance of the charge sheet was challenged. He concluded by saying that the special court would have jurisdiction for trial, and the sessions court would have jurisdiction prior to trial.

Advocate Sudeep Pasbola appearing for the accused had previously argued that the order passed by the sessions court judge could not be sustained as the State Government had already constituted a special NIA court and under the NIA, the agency ought to have approached the Magistrate Court as the charges included Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

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