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Elgar Parishad case: Activist Sudha Bharadwaj’s plea for interim bail rejected

Bhardwaj, 59, had sought bail on health grounds after a prisoner and a doctor at Mumbai’s Byculla Jail, where she is being held, were infected by the Coronavirus.

Updated: May 29, 2020 15:18 IST

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times Mumbai

In her plea, Bharadwaj said there was a high risk of her being infected by the Coronavirus in prison. (Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)

A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Friday rejected a plea for interim bail by civil rights activist Sudha Bharadwaj, an accused in the Elghar Parishad case.

Bhardwaj, 59, had sought bail on health grounds after a prisoner and a doctor at Mumbai’s Byculla Jail, where she is being held, were infected by the Coronavirus.

In her plea, Bharadwaj said she was also suffering from several pre-existing medical conditions, including diabetes, hypertension and high blood pressure. She said there was a high risk of her being infected by the Coronavirus in prison.

Her counsel also argued Bhardwaj has a history of pulmonary tuberculosis, which made her particularly susceptible to contracting other respiratory infections.



The plea was objected to by special public prosecutor Prakash Shetty on the ground that Bharadwaj was booked under stringent provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and hence couldn’t be released on interim bail, as mentioned by the high-power committee of the Bombay high court.

The prosecution also told the court that prisoners in Byculla Jail have access to all facilities and treatment for any ailments.

Bharadwaj, along with several other activists, was arrested under UAPA and provision of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for allegedly having links with Maoist rebels and being involved in the Elgar Parishad gathering on December 31, 2017, which sparked caste-based violence at Koregaon Bhima in Pune the next day.

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