In filing a quick appeal against the grant of statutory bail to lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj, the NIA has displayed nothing but pique and petulance over a well-reasoned order of the Bombay High Court. The bail order itself is a much-delayed relief, considering that the right to ‘default bail’ had accrued to her as early as January 2019, on completing 90 days in prison and when there was neither a charge sheet nor a lawful order extending the time limit for filing it from 90 to 180 days. The High Court is right in concluding that the Sessions Court had no jurisdiction to grant such an extension, and subsequently take cognisance of the charge sheet filed in February 2019, when a duly constituted Special Court under the NIA Act was already functioning in Pune. Further, the court has given the benefit of default bail — an indefeasible right under Section 167(2) Cr.P.C. that arises when the investigating agency fails to submit its final report within the stipulated period — only to Ms.

The death of five elephants, four of them cows, caused by trains colliding with them, and all within a week, has again highlighted the gaps in efforts to reduce man-animal conflicts in the country. On November 26, the first accident occurred near Madukkarai in Coimbatore district, Tamil Nadu that has seen many an elephant death on a rail track stretch that extends up to Kanjikode, Kerala. The second accident was near Jagiroad in Assam’s Morigaon district, four days later. Both accidents were at night. Elephant deaths in railway accidents are not new in India. A reply by the Project Elephant division of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in May to a set of RTI questions highlighted reasons other than natural causes as having led to the killing of 1,160 elephants over 11 years ending December 2020; 741 deaths were due to electrocution; railway accidents accounted for 186 cases; poaching 169 and poisoning 64. The pattern of train accidents involving elephants has
 
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