Mumbai, February 8: The Bombay High Court on Monday dismissed the appeal filed by activist Gautam Navlakha from the Taloja Central Jail challenging the rejection of his statutory bail by the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on July 12 in the Bhima Koregaon violence case.

A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik was hearing the appeal filed through senior advocate Kapil Sibal on September 9.

Sibal had argued that 34 of days of Navlakha’s house arrest was not considered as detention and the NIA did not file its charge sheet within the stipulated period of 90 days as per the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). Hence Navlakha was eligible for default bail, The Hindu reported.

However, senior advocate SV Raju appearing for the Central agency, contended that the house arrest period could not be counted as the date of producing Navlakha before the magistrate. “Navlakha was a free man as he was neither in custody nor on bail,” he had said.

The bench had reserved the order on December 16.

As per the charge sheet, Navlakha has played an active role and was involved in secret communications with Communist Party of India (Maoist) cadres.

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