Mumbai: A special court in Mumbai on Thursday allowed activist Sudha Bharadwaj, who was recently granted bail in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist ties case, to stay in neighboring Thane district instead of Mumbai.
Bhardwaj was granted bail in December 2021 by the Bombay High Court, nearly three years after his arrest.
While passing the order of release, the special court of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said that she will not leave Mumbai without permission.
Bhardwaj later applied for permission to stay at a friend’s house in Thane and said that getting a house in Mumbai is expensive.
Special Judge DE Kothalikar accepted Bharadwaj’s application on Thursday. The court also took on record the address of the place where Bharadwaj would be staying and directed that she would mark her presence every fortnight at the Vartak Nagar police station in Thane city.
“The Investigating Officer is at liberty to verify the address and furnish relevant information to the Senior Inspector of Vartak Nagar Police Station,” the court said.
Significantly, after the Elgar Parishad seminar held in Pune in December 2017, several left-leaning activists and writers, including Bharadwaj, were arrested for their alleged links with Maoists.
Sudha Bharadwaj was arrested in August 2018 by the Pune Police under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for the January 2018 violence at Bhima Koregaon and alleged links with Maoists.
He is accused of inciting violence and collecting funds and human resources for the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), which he described as baseless and politically motivated.
Advocate Sudha Bharadwaj, who fought for human rights, has worked in Chhattisgarh for nearly three decades. Sudha is also the National Secretary of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL).
It is noteworthy that the Bombay High Court had on December 1, 2021 granted default bail to advocate Sudha Bhardwaj, holding that the investigation was conducted under the provisions of Section 43D(2) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and Section 167(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. And the extension of the time of detention was not done by the court.
(with input from news agency language)
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