Delhi High Court questions Maharashtra police on activist Gautam Navlakha's arrest

The high court said it will examine the legality of the state police's action to arrest Navlakha and the transit remand order passed by a magisterial court.

Published: 29th August 2018 09:08 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th August 2018 12:58 AM   |  A+A-


Human Rights activist Goutam Navalakha and eminent writer and social activist Arundhati Roy. (Photo | File/PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Maharashtra Police faced a tough time on Wednesday before the Delhi High Court when it questioned the legality of the transit remand order passed by a Chief Metropolitan Magistrate allowing the state police to take away human rights activist Gautam Navlakha to Pune.

From the very beginning of the hearing, the bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel was critical of the fact that the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate did not even bother to check the case diary to understand the offence alleged against Navlakha by the Maharashtra police.

"How the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate was able to understand the charges made out against Navlakha when all the documents were in Marathi," questioned Justice Muralidhar.

The court also noted that people accompanying the police from Maharashtra were made witnesses of Navlakha's arrest, instead of locals and said, "A witness should either be family members or respectable members of the locality, it can't be someone who accompanies the police."

Appearing for the Maharashtra Police, Additional Solicitor General Aman Lekhi said all efforts were made to make Navlakha understand the grounds of arrest.

Giving a word of caution to the CMM who issued the order, the bench said since certain sections of the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) was alleged against Navlakha, one should have been extra careful in granting the transit remand as it would curb his freedom.

Explaining further, the bench said, "Under the UAPA, the statutes are so strict that it is impossible for a person to get bail, so courts need to be extra careful while granting the transit remand."

As the Bench started dictating its order, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Aman Lekhi informed the court that the Supreme Court has stayed the transit remand in all the cases, including that of Navlakha, and put them under house arrest which led bench to stop dictating its order and instructed the ASG to produce the apex court order before it on August 29, when the case will be heard again.ends


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