Fashionable To Make Noise On Personal Liberty: Maharashtra To Top Court

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Supreme Court had on October 29 issued notice to Gautam Navlakha on plea by Maharashtra (File)

New Delhi:

The Maharashtra government on Monday said it has become "fashion to make hue and cry about personal liberty" as it contended that in the case of Gautam Navlakha, accused of alleged links with outlawed CPI (Maoist), the investigating officer followed every procedure of law in proceeding against him.

The Supreme Court today directed the hearing of the Navlakha case in January as Maharashtra told the bench headed by the Chief Justices Ranjan Gogoi that he was not in custody.

The court, however, directed that the charges filed against the accused, Surendra Pundlik Gadling, Sudhir Pralhad Dhawale, Rona Jacob Wilson, Dr Soma Sen and Mahesh Sitaram Raut along with "translated copy thereof and a gist of the allegations made therein be filed on or before December 8, 2018."

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Saying that the conduct of Gautam Navlakha required serious consideration, the Maharashtra police said though the writ of habeas corpus was not maintainable, Gautam Navlakha filed the same before the High Court.

During the pendency of the habeas corpus petition before the High court, Gautam Navlakha and others moved a petition before the top court.

The court by its September 28 order while rejecting the plea by historian Romila Thapar granted the protection from arrest to the accused for four weeks giving them time to move an appropriate court.

The Maharashtra police said this in its rejoinder to the response by Gautam Navlakha. Maharashtra had moved the top court challenging Delhi High Court order granting bail to Gautam Navlakha.

The top court had on October 29 issued notice to Gautam Navlakha on plea by Maharashtra challenging grant of bail to him by the High court.

The matter relates to alleged singing of "objectionable songs" and instigating comments, speeches sloganeering ''Elgar Conference'' by accused Sudhir Dhawale and others at Bhima Koregaon ''Shouryadin Prerna Abhiyan'' organised by Kabir Kala Manch on December 31, 2017.

Accusing the five activists of their links with CPI (Maoist), Maharashtra government has alleged that they misled the backward people to infuse radical Maoist thoughts in their minds.

As a part of their policy, the members of Kabir Kala Manch Sudhir, Dhavale and others have made such instigating speech, at various places in Maharashtra that would "create enmity and violence in the society", says the Maharashtra petition.

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