Bhima Koregaon case: SC grants interim bail for 2 weeks to activist Mahesh Raut

Opposing the bail of Raut, the NIA said that his complicity in the Bhima Koregaon case could not be ruled out and thereby the apex court should dismiss his bail plea.
Bhima Koregaon case: SC grants interim bail to Mahesh Raut
Bhima Koregaon case: SC grants interim bail to Mahesh Raut

NEW DELHI: In a major relief to 33-year-old activist Mahesh Raut, an accused in the Bhima-Koregaon case, the Supreme Court on Friday granted him interim bail for two weeks to attend the rituals following the death of his grandmother.

The two-judge vacation bench of the top court, led by Justice Vikram Nath and Justice SVN Bhatti, granted interim bail to the accused, Raut, from June 26 to July 9.

Ordering Raut to surrender to the authorities/NIA without fail on July 10, Wednesday, the top court strictly said that the interim bail will be subject to the terms and conditions set by the Special NIA court.

“Considering the facts and circumstances of the case and the period of incarceration already undergone (by Raut) and the nature of the request made by him, we are inclined to grant (Raut) interim bail for a period of two weeks to the applicant (Raut), which may commence from June 26 and end on July 9," the top court said in its order on Friday.

Asking Raut to follow the rules and conditions imposed on him, the top court said that the NIA (National Investigating Agency) can request the trial court to impose stringent conditions. The applicant shall surrender on July 10.

Opposing the bail of Raut, the NIA said that his complicity in the Bhima Koregaon case could not be ruled out and thereby the apex court should dismiss his bail plea.

Bhima Koregaon case: SC grants interim bail to Mahesh Raut
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Senior advocate Mihir Desai, appearing for Raut, sought interim bail from the top court on the grounds that he had to go to Gadchiroli to attend the ceremonies after the death of his grandmother. Desai said that his client should be granted bail to attend the rituals, which are likely to be held on June 29, 30, and July 5 and 6.

The Supreme Court had on June 14 asked the NIA to take instructions and file a reply after hearing a plea filed by Raut seeking interim bail to attend his grandmother's rituals following her death.

Raut, who was arrested by the NIA in June 2018, is currently lodged in Taloja prison for his alleged involvement in the case.

According to the prosecution, provocative and inflammatory speeches were allegedly made at an event that was allegedly backed by the banned terror outfit CPI (M), which later led to violence at Koregaon Bhima village near Pune in 2018. Raut, along with many others, was arrested for their alleged involvement in the case.

Initially, the Bombay High Court had on September 21 last year granted bail to Raut. But the NIA, after two days, moved the apex court.

The stay was granted by the apex court on September 23, after hearing an appeal filed by the NIA challenging the September 21 order of the Bombay High Court on the implementation of its verdict granting bail to Raut.

Out of a total of 16 accused persons, one is dead, three are out on bail, and 12 are lodged in jails in the Bhima Koregaon case.

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