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Elgar Parishad case: Bombay court rejects Hany Babu’s bail plea

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday rejected the regular bail application filed by UAPA-accused Hany Babu. He was arrested in July 2020 and is currently lodged at the Taloja prison in Navi Mumbai.

A division bench of Justices NM Jamdar and NR Borkar has been hearing the bail plea since August. In June, Hany Babu approached the High Court, challenging an order of a special National Investigation Agency court in Mumbai.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is conducting a probe into the case, has accused Babu of being a co-conspirator in propagating Maoist activities and ideology on the instructions of leaders of the banned CPI (Maoist) organisation.

In his plea, Babu said that while the NIA cited a letter detailing a conspiracy to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi as evidence, the alleged letter did not incriminate him.

His plea said that there existed no evidence to even suggest that he intended to or supported activities to cause disaffection against India.

The NIA had opposed the bail plea, arguing that Babu actively participated in activities to promote Naxalism and wanted to overthrow the government.

Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Anil Singh had said that Hany Babu wanted to promote and expand Naxalism and was part of the conspiracy to wage a war against India by overthrowing the elected government.

He along with others wanted to set up “Janata Sarkar” i.e. people’s government by arms struggle, Singh had told the court. The ASG had also argued that Babu used to train other members of the outfit on how to avoid phone tapping.

In September, the bail plea of Gautam Navlakha, a co-accused in the same case, was denied by the special NIA court.

Former Delhi University associate professor Hany Babu was arrested in July 2020 in connection with the Elgar Parishad case.

The case relates to alleged inflammatory speeches delivered at the Elgar Parishad conclave, held in Shaniwarwada in Pune on December 31, 2017, which police claimed triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon Bhima war memorial located on the city’s outskirts.

One person was killed and several others were injured in the violence.

The case, in which over a dozen activists and academicians had been named accused, was initially probed by the Pune police and later taken over by the NIA.

The other accused arrested in relation to the Elgar Parishad case include Sudha Bharadwaj, Stan Swamy, Roma Wilson, Varavara Rao, Gautam Navlakha, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut and Shoma Sen.

Among the accused, Sudha Bharadwaj and Varavara Rao were granted bail, while Jesuit priest Stan Swamy passed away in prison.