Koregaon Bhima Case: SC extends protection from arrest to Gautam Navlakha

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday extended by four weeks the interim protection from arrest granted to civil rights activist Gautma Navlakha in the Koregaon Bhima violence case.

A bench of justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta however asked Navlakha to approach the concerned court to seek pre-arrest bail in the case.

When the counsel, appearing for the Maharashtra government, objected to the grant of further interim protection to Navlakha, the bench questioned the state as to why they had not interrogated him for over a year.

The apex court had on October 4 extended till October 15 the interim protection from arrest granted to Navlakha.

The High Court had refused to quash the FIR lodged against him in the 2017 Koregaon-Bhima case and for having alleged Maoist links, noting that there was prima facie substance in the case.

“Considering the magnitude of the case, we feel a thorough investigation is required,” the high court had said and extended the protection from arrest to Navlakha for three weeks to enable him to approach the Apex Court to file an appeal against its order.

During the previous hearing, Navlakha’s counsel told the court that he was the secretary of the People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) and has always condemned violence.

However, the bench had asked Navlakha as to why he has not approached the court to seek anticipatory bail under section 438 of the (CrPC) in the case.