On Thursday, the Supreme Court refused to entertain a plea seeking interim bail to the lawyer and activist Sudha Bharadwaj, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Koregaon Bhima case who is being probed by the National Investigation Agency. Reportedly, Bharadwaj is currently imprisoned at the Byculla Women’s prison in Mumbai.
Advocate Vrinda Grover, appearing for Bharadwaj has sought interim bail on the grounds that her client was suffering from diabetes and had other co-morbidities while citing that in the last two years of Bharadwaj spending in jail, she has developed arthritis and a heart condition.
Nonetheless, the bench comprising of Justices UU Lalit and Ajay Rastogi dismissed as withdrawn the plea file by Bharadwaj.
“You have such a good case on merits,” stated the bench while adding “Why are you not fighting on those grounds?” The court then said, “either you withdraw it or we will dismiss it” and suggested that a regular bail plea can be filed.
Subsequently, Bharadwaj’s counsel, advocate Vrinda Grover, chose to withdraw the petition.
After nearly two months of house arrest, Bharadwaj was taken into custody on 27th October 2018. Bharadwaj’s daughter, along with the other family members, friends, and colleagues have demanded “for an early, decisive hearing” for her release all the while asking for full access to her medical history in jail with all diagnostic notes. CIVICUS, a global collective of civil society organizations, had also expressed concern over Bharadwaj’s health in prison on Tuesday and urged the Centre to order her immediate release.
The case pertains to the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune district on 31st December 2017. It is alleged that speeches made by some activists at the conclave led to violence near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial on the outskirts of Pune city the following day.