The Supreme Court on Monday set aside an order by the Delhi High Court calling for NIA records on activist Gautam Navlakha’s transfer to Mumbai. Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani in his order on 27 May had directed the NIA to produce records in relation to the production warrant issued for the transfer of Gautam Navlakha from Delhi to Mumbai. Justice Bhambhani had also made scathing observations against the NIA stating that the National Investigation Agency had acted in ‘unseemly haste’ to move Navlakha out of the Delhi High Court’s jurisdiction when it was still hearing his bail application.
On Monday, a Supreme Court Bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra, Navin Sinha and Indira Banerjee also ordered for expunging the adverse remarks by Justice Bhambhani against the NIA. The words used against the NIA by Justice Bhambhani had included ‘whimsical’ among others.
Bench allows the NIA’s appeal.
At this juncture, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta seeks expunging of statements made for the NIA by a Single Judge bench of Delhi High Court.
The words used for NIA include “Whimsical” among others by Justice A. Bhambhani.
— Live Law (@LiveLawIndia) July 6, 2020
The top court on 2 June had stayed the Delhi High Court order. Kapil Sibal, who was representing Navlakha, opposed the expunging of Justice Bhambhani’s comments against the NIA saying that this would cast aspersions on the Judge of the Delhi HC.
In 2018, Pune Police had arrested Varavara Rao from Hyderabad, Gautam Navlakha from Delhi, lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj from Haryana and Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonzalves from Maharashtra. These activists were arrested for their alleged involvement in the Bhima-Koregaon violence in January this year. Violence had erupted during the Elgaar Parishad event, organised to mark the 200th year of the Battle of Koregaon. The date is observed by Dalit groups in memory of what they consider was their victory over the upper caste Peshwas.