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Must pay for security costs for house arrest SC to activist Navlakha

By Jhanak Singh      09 April, 2024 06:08 PM      0 Comments
Must pay for security costs for house arrest SC to activist Navlakha

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday said that activist Gautam Navlakha, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case could not escape the liability to pay for the security costs for his house arrest as he had asked for it.

The NIA led by Additional solicitor general S V Raju, contended before a bench of Justices M M Sundresh and S V N Bhatti that Navlakha owed nearly Rs 1.64 crore to the agency in relation to his house arrest.

The bench told Navlakha’s counsel that since he had asked for the house arrest, then he will have to pay for the security in connection with his house arrest.

Advocate Shadan Farasat, appearing for Navlakha submitted before the bench that his client is willing to pay but disputed the cost of nearly Rs 1.64 crore.

Contesting Farasat’s plea, Raju said that Navlakha’s counsel always said the same thing.

The bench said the parties should cooperate with each other.

"The numbers will continue to fly as long as the lawyers are," the bench observed.

The bench said it will give one week time to the parties.

“Whatever allegations you both have to say, say it then. We will decide," the court said.

The court fixed the matter for further hearing on next Friday.

The court said the stay imposed by the Bombay High Court on the operation of its order granting bail to Navlakha will continue until then.

The NIA challenged the Bombay High Court order, which granted bail to Navlakha, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence case of 2018.

On March 7, the NIA had told the Supreme Court that activist Gautam Navlakha needs to make a payment of Rs 1.64 crore regarding expenses for making available police personnel for his security during house arrest. Navlakha’s lawyer did not agree with NIA’s claims and termed it ''extortion''.

Raju had told the court that the 70-year-old activist has paid merely Rs 10 Lakh so far towards the expenses incurred for the security.

He asserted that Navlakha must pay some more amount. Navlakha has been under house arrest at a public library in Mumbai since November 2022.

In December last year, the Bombay High Court had granted bail to Navlakha but stayed its order for three weeks after the NIA sought time to file an appeal before the apex court. Earlier, the apex court had said that keeping Navlakha under house arrest further will set a ''wrong precedent''.

The apex court, in November 2022, while ordering his house arrest had directed him to deposit Rs 2.4 lakh towards the expenses to be borne by the state for deploying police personnel regarding his house arrest. Subsequently, the court again directed him to deposit another Rs eight lakh as expenses.
 



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