The Supreme Court on Wednesday extended till October 5 the stay granted by the Bombay High Court on the implementation of its verdict granting bail to activist Mahesh Raut, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case.
The apex court was hearing a plea filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) challenging the September 21 order of the high court granting bail to 33-year-old Raut, who was arrested in June 2018 and is presently lodged in judicial custody at the Taloja prison.
After the high court had pronounced its verdict on September 21, the counsel representing the NIA sought the stay on the operation of its order to enable the probe agency to challenge it before the Supreme Court.
The NIA's plea came up for hearing before a bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Bela M Trivedi on Wednesday.
"We will hear out the appeal itself," the bench said.
The counsel appearing for the NIA said the high court had stayed the effect of its order granting bail to Raut for a week. "There has been a stay till today. The stay may be extended," he said.
The bench then extended the stay till the next hearing on October 5.
"The stay already granted by the Bombay High Court on the operation of the judgement and order shall continue till the next date of hearing," it said.
The high court had said in its judgment, "In the present case, the incriminating material as adverted to herein above does not in any manner prima-facie leads to draw an inference that, appellant (Raut) has committed or indulge in a 'terrorist act' as contemplated under section 15 of UAP Act." It had noted that Raut was in pre-trial incarceration for over five years and three months.
"According to us, there is no material on record to indicate that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the accusations against the appellant under sections 16, 17, 18, 20 and 39 of UAP Act are prima-facie true," the high court had said.
These provisions of the UAPA pertain to punishment, including for terrorist acts, for raising funds for terrorist acts, conspiracy and for being a member of a terrorist gang or organisation.
Raut had moved the high court in 2022 seeking bail and challenging the order passed by the special NIA court refusing him bail.
The case pertains to the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which according to the Pune police was funded by Maoists.
The inflammatory speeches made there led to violence at the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial in Pune the next day, police had alleged.
The case was later probed by the NIA.
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